Our Tate Modern Visit.
We Love visiting the Tate Modern, but I'd say this was the first time all three of our kids had been to this awesome gallery. Its on the Embankment in London and the gallery opened in May 2000. Its housed in the old bankside power station. An iconic building on the landscape of London especially for its tall single central chimney. The original building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, fully completed in 1963. But when Tate got their hands on the then redundant building in 1994 they chose Swiss Architects Herzog & De Meuron to design and transform the building into a gallery, keeping much of its original character. You would not think of it as a gallery from the outside. Standing underneath the towering building is quite impressive, it certainly caught our kids attention before we got through the doors.
Naomi is pressed up against the tower peering upwards, Caleb trying to take a snap shot on his DS3 Camera not the most ideal photography tool, Davinder has is Canon in hand and Joshua is just freely staring upwards into the sky. I'm capturing all this on my simple little iPhone which honestly takes some great shots.
You can get an idea from this image what they were gazing up at, but until you visit you don't get a real sense of the scale of this building, its just huge.
Once inside the galleries you are greeted by a mass of colourful artworks, probably unlike much they had seen before. Having just visited the National gallery the day before this was certainly different for them.
Caleb loved this almost graffiti style work above, pieces collaged together from other art works created by artist Jean Dubuffet the piece is called Vicissitudes 1977.
Some of the art works were such an explosion of colour and so inspiring for the children to see, especially the scale of some of the work, if only schools had the space these days to create such pieces, I know the kids would have so much fun with a project like this. Perhaps we'll take up the challenge of large scale art work if we ever get the space to do this.
Its great to see such famous work by artist like Andy Warhol, with this famous Marilyn Monroe piece.
You can see from this image just how light and bright this gallery is, the children had plenty of space to look around without getting in anyones way unlike some of the more traditional gallery spaces.
Joshua running past some famous Picasso's he has little idea of the importance of these works.
And other times the kids do manage to stop and sit down in front of the art and take it in, chatting away Naomi was asking Joshua what colours and shapes he could see. It was wonderful to see them engage like this.
Roy Lichtenstien an artist from the pop art movement always gets a reaction with his comic strip style. This piece is called Whaam! probably regarded as one of his most famous and influential art works.
Davinder taking it all in.
'This piece of art by Warhol who began making silkscreens of an empty electric chair in 1963, a time when the ethics of capital punishment were being fervently debated in America. Designed to make killing as efficient and impersonal as possible, the electric chair unites Warhol’s fascination with death and with mechanised production. He presents these bleak images in a deadpan manner, without social commentary or moral consolation. The emotional distance is heightened by his audacious use of colour, which is at odds with his morbid subject matter.' (caption from the Tate gallery.)
Standing in front of an image like this is quite disturbing when you know the content, of course our kids are unaware of the subject matter and at their young age we don't necessarily need to explain it just yet. They just look at the cheerful colours, but we as the adult view knowing just how conflicted the two things are in the image.
Joshua running again past a Sonia Delaunay painting whose work is so vibrant and colourful and great for shape inspiration.
We were really inspired to create some art work with the kids based on this so watch this space as we post again this week how we got on.
Would we recommend Tate for kids? absolutely Yes, its a fantastic space and they have loads going on for children of all ages check out their website for updates.
They also have a beautiful shop with some great resources for children's art inspiration.
We will be heading back to the Tate again this weekend as there was loads we never saw with the building being so immense. Can't wait to get some more inspiration and enjoy some more fun time in London.
Watch this space.