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The Bloomberg Commission Exhibition

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
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Gold Leaves Grow on Trees
the bloomberg commission, giuseppe penone, whitechapel gallery, Spazio di Luce, tree, Space of Light
'Spazio di Luce by Giuseppe Penone.


Nature is a rich source of minerals, beauty, and life, yet we seem determined to destroy it (I guess that is part of our nature). For the last forty-five years, the Italian artist, Giuseppe Penone has examined this fraught relationship we have with the natural environment, and as part of a commission by the Whitechapel gallery, has produced an installation on the subject.

The Whitechapel gallery's latest Bloomberg Commission is free to visit, and runs between 4th September - 26th October. Penone calls his latest project Spazio di Luce, which translates to 'Space of Light'. The piece revisits an earlier work from his youth, All the Years of the Tree Plus One (1969), which was a tree covered in a thin layer of wax.

Spazio di Luce goes one step further; he has created a twelve metre bronze cast of a hollow tree, which is lined in gold leaf. Not only does the sculpture show off its stunning beauty as the light reflects off the surface, but it also depicts man's relationship with nature. It begs the question whether our value of nature is truly as hollow as the tree; do we only appreciate it for its monetary value? At the same time, the stained fingerprints found on the tree indicated how intertwined our lives our with nature. If we continue to destroy it, what will happen to us?
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Why? Fun for art lovers
When: 4th Sept - 26th Oct
Phone: 44 (0)20 7522 7888
Where: Whitechapel Gallery
Cost: Free
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