Top STEAM Moments 2019: Arts

Our team has rounded up the top art moments of 2019. From the Venice Biennale Art 2019 to AR art walks, it's been an awesome year for the art world!

tech will save us top art moments 2019

Venice Biennale Arte 2019 - May You Live In Interesting Times

Bethany Koby – CEO & Co-Founder (Mother of Ash, 8 & Apollo, 8 months old)

A departure from the traditional history focused vision, 2019’s Biennale Art exhibition in Venice was definitely my art moment of the year. The theme, “May You Live in Interesting Times”, is a refreshing departure from the event’s usual historical focus and a thought-provoking play on words: its connotation can be both positive and negative, depending on how you choose to view it. 

Similar to its title, the themes of the art exhibit itself were both uplifting and somber.  

Each pavilion had its own story to tell, touching on contemporary issues for everyone to interpret. We do live in very interesting times after all. But, the way these artists chose to display contemporary problems was not what touched me most.

It was the fact that, if you really paid attention, all these apparently dreary expressions of our society’s issues also shone a light on the strongest traits of humanity: hope. 

I was also impressed by the diversity of the exhibition; not only in nationality but in age, gender, and sexuality. The exhibition was as diverse as the artists that they showcased which were amazing to experience. For the first time, half of the installations, sculptures, and paintings in the International pavilion belonged to women!

I could go on and on about last year’s Biennale but instead, I’ve decided to show you some of my favourite pieces:

[AR]T Walk by Apple AR

Hermione Pagni – Digital Marketing Manager (Auntie to Billy, 6 months old)

For me, the best art moment of last year was easily Apple’s [AR]T Walk. Think of a stroll through Covent Garden, combined with installations from cutting edge artists, all viewed through the screen of your phone.

One piece from the walk stood out most for me. 

This was an installation by Cao Fai. When experiencing the piece, you watch a swirling, whizzing factory conveyor belt through your phone screen. You interact with the piece, knocking boxes off the belt and turning the belt on and off, all by swiping your screen. What you see on the screen adapts to your movement, giving the sensation that you’re walking through the factory.

As bizarre as it may sound, the piece is so immersive that I found myself reaching out in front of me to physically touch the digital world that had been created. It’s not surprising that passers-by constantly stopped to ask what I was doing.

I won’t spoil the magic and give away the rest of the experience. But it’s enough to say that each installation pushes you to see augmented reality in a different way; some taking you out of the physical world and others extending it.

apple ar art walk

Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life

Seamus White – Product Designer (Big Brother to Raffy, 9 and Phoebe, 8)

The Olafur Elliason exhibition at the Tate this year was definitely my art moment of the year! It’s incredible how he uses science and simple technology in his work to create awe-inspiring pieces, all interactive in some way or shape. 

We went with the whole family to see it and both the kids and adults enjoyed it a lot. The kids especially enjoyed the “Your uncertain shadow”, an art installation using lights that as you passed in front of them they cast unexpected colorful shadows on the wall before them. “Big Bang Fountain” was also mesmerising!

I was impressed by his work on raising awareness on climate change – the highlight was the documentation of the “Ice Watch” series. These pieces brought actual pieces of glacial ice into public spaces and left them to melt! This was a brilliant way of making this issue real for the general public, I was shocked by the rapid melting of the glaciers even though I was aware of it. People all around me had similar reactions. I think it’s safe to say his art has a way of sparking conversations which is incredible!