ExtraORDINARY – Everyday objects and actions in contemporary art

Currently showing at The Lowry, Salford Quays, is an exhibition made up of artists, sculptors and photographers where some the works requires audience participation in the making of the art. The idea behind this sort of interactive exhibition is the exploration of the making of art rather than the finished piece of work.

A couple of the installations really stood out for me.  The first one, ADA by artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski is a helium filled kinetic drawing sculpture. The sculpture shaped like a giant ball has large sticks of charcoal protruding from it and placed in a small white room, spectators were being encouraged to enter the room to bounce the ball from walls to ceiling in order to make marks on all surfaces.  There was something almost extra-terrestrial about this sculpture as it floated around the room, it bounced from wall to wall, the light projected through its translucent body giving it an alien appearance,


The second installation, Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) by Roelof Louw,  started life in the gallery as a pyramid, here participants are offered the opportunity to change the appearance of the artwork by taking away an orange. By the time I visited, with just one week left to run the was very little evidence of the pyramid or the majority of the 5800 oranges!

The exhibition as a whole is playful with some of the pieces of work possibly made with a sense of humour. The use of everyday objects in art is often a matter for debate, with viewers confused as to how a biscuit, Gavin Turk‘s  A Rich Tea Biscuit, or a range of different lengths of nails, and a floor display of ascending sized Cactus,both by Martin Creed, can be called art. These artists see the practice of selection and positioning of these somewhat commonplace objects as  fundamental in their creative practice.


Martin Creed Work No 701


Martin Creed – Work No. 960 (dimensions variable) 

This exhibition is an excellent way to encourage spectators, children in particular, to enjoy visiting the gallery by allowing them to touch the installations, becoming part of the process of the making of the art, thus becoming a part of the exhibition.