sunflower seeds

Last week (henceforth to be remembered as The Week of the Plague), the Tate Modern opened a sculpture exhibition in its main, or turbine, hall featuring millions of tiny, hand-made porcelain sunflower seeds. The point… well, I’m sure there are many modern art points that I’m missing, but one key point of the exhibit was to enable people to really interact with the seeds. And as you can see here, when the exhibit first opened, children were rolling around in the sculpture, and there were lots lovely pictures taken of the porcelain seeds dripping through people’s fingers.

Turns out all that interaction was a health risk, however. According to the Tate, the inhalation of dust created by walking over and playing with the seeds is not such a good thing.

To be honest, it makes for something of a weird installation now. The seeds have been pulled back to cover only half the hall, and they are roped off to keep people at a distance. It doesn’t negate the sheer size of such a project, the unthinkable number of hours it would take to get so many tiny seeds carved. But as you can see, people are now put at some distance from the work, which seems sad considering its purpose.


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