Pandada table by Nigel Coates
What's happened to the pandas? The WWF asked 15 famous British artists to turn the old panda collection boxes into serious "art" and create some Pandamonium. The panda logo, designed almost 50 years ago, has become a recognised and beloved symbol for conservation.
At first it's almost shocking to see the sweet cuddley black and white pandas transformed into gold sign-carrying protesters, ice statues and drawings. Then the idea grows on you and it's fascinating how this iconic image has been re-interpreted. More pandas after the fold.
You Can't Hate Nature by Mark Titchner
The pandas have been turned into protesters by the artist Mark Titchner. He sees a comparison to the Madonna and child in this work and has several views of them as "idols, protesters, a mother protecting her young - but most of all as a reminder of our perilous environmental situation... "
Sweet Bamboo by Jim Lambie
These two are emerging out of concrete. The artist Jim Lambie depicts them like fossils embedded in rock, with only their heads exposed. He says that the way the pandas are disappearing into the mass of concrete " visually highlights the desperate situation we face with our environment: that species are being eliminated before our very eyes and it may be irreversible unless we take action - fast."
Panda Eyes by Jason Bruges Studio
Beware the eyes of the pandas, all 100 of them. Jason Bruges Studio has created 100 rotating pandas whose heads turn all at the same time in different directions. The auction catalogue says that they "detect a viewer's presence, and track human movement in unison, in a slightly unnerving way" and it's true--they do seem to follow you around the room. Supposedly their "confrontational stare" is supposed to urge "viewers to consider their impact upon the environment." Hmmm....
Untitled by Gary Hume
There's more by Rachel Whiteread, Gavin Turk, Paul Smith and Tracy Emin--all the famous YBA's (Young British Artists, who aren't so young any more) have contributed and it's all for a good cause. You can put in a bid....the auction is tonight. Or just enjoy the pandas.