Autumn half term pretty much always coincides with a new installation in Tate Modern‘s Turbine Hall, something which the kids are usually pretty fond of (although they weren’t impressed with last year’s sunflower seeds and they are desperate for the mythical slides, that they were too young to see, to return), so I always try and make time for that in this holiday. ‘Unfortunately’ this particular half term holiday is incredibly busy, so today (Monday) was the only day we could do it (and I wouldn’t normally dream of a trip out to central London on the first day of a holiday normally, you need to let them chill a bit, but needs must).
So, as well as Tate Modern I decided I might as well fit in something else as well, whilst we were in town, so despite my two being surprisingly not that keen on the V&A’s Museum of Childhood last time we were there (which was relatively recently), they had a new exhibition on about Magical Worlds and as this holiday is very Halloween dominated this year, I thought it only apt.
So we went to the Museum of Childhood first, getting our priorities right we went straight for the food (we love the Benugo cafes), then straight up to Magical Worlds and it was definitely worth the journey. Both kids seemed to like it, there was more dressing up and (as it was half term), a roving magician which absolutely entranced the kids. Girl Lacer even played the part of magician’s assistant at one point and the look of delight on her face at the culmination of the trick was priceless. Boy Lacer was also very taken with the little videos of magic tricks they had, so it was nice to see him interested in something that isn’t a computer game lol.
We did also go and see the other displays again, where the kids’ discovered more dressing up opportunities but again I just get the feeling this is not their absolute favourite museum but I definitely think I’ll be keeping an eye out for further exhibitions they have, as the Judith Kerr retrospective we saw last time we were there was also a hit. I think the difference between the special exhibitions and the rest of the museum is that when comparing the two, the whole set up of the rest of the museum does feel a little dated.
Anyway, we then went on to Tate Modern, going straight to see the new Turbine Hall exhibit by Tacita Dean (via the kids following the now filled in crack down the Turbine Hall ramp, now that was an exhibit they were fascinated by when they saw it). With the Tacita Dean exhibit, the Turbine Hall is pretty much blacked out, specially the far end, where they’ve set up a giant film screen showing Dean’s analogue film. The kids’ made themselves comfy.
And very happily sat through all of it, both being full of praise when I dragged them away as the film looped round again. The film is very abstract and it sort of reminded me in a way of those weird films they show on Teletubbies, where they show brightly coloured shapes, close ups of apples and eyes and things just looking a bit odd, not that my two have watched Teletubbies in a long time but I guess they’ve grown up on it. Boy Lacer in particular liked it, Girl Lacer liked it to but still hankers for things you can climb over.
(I liked it to, by the way, there’s something bewitching about the massive screen and the way how the light washes over the viewers).
After that we finally got a chance to play Tate Trumps, an iPhone game where you download an app and then following it’s instructions, go round the gallery looking for the seven best artworks that feature your particular theme. We chose the artworks that would be good at fighting theme (I was keeping it simple) and we went round, for the most part, picking the sculptures that looked like they could whack you one or smother you. Once we had chosen our seven, we then played the actual trumps, with me and the kids absolutely slaughtering the opposition, who had all chosen paintings. Definitely worth a go.
- Exhibition in focus: The Unilever Series, Tacita Dean at Tate Modern (telegraph.co.uk)