One of the advantages of living in London is that there is always an exhibition on somewhere that I want to go and see. Although at times the noise, pollution and pace of life leaves me feeling disenchanted with the city, I think it is actually a marvellous place to raise a child. There is so much to do, and to take in. So many ideas to be inspired by, cultures to experience, and new things to see, do and eat.
Sonia Delaunay was a French artist who worked in Paris in the early twentieth century. Her work uses big, bold colours and geometric shapes, and spans paint, costume design, and beautiful fabrics. In short, an absolutely perfect exhibition for baby.
I only managed to sneak a couple of photos, and they don’t do the exhibition justice at all, but I will absolutely be going back with Frida as she was mesmerised by the bright colours and patterns.
I love going to see art with her. I find that it completely changes the way that I see it, and also changes the way that I experience the exhibition as a whole. Pre-baby, I would have wandered round at a leisurely pace, pondering the art. Now if I’m carrying Frida, I focus only on the things which I think she will enjoy, spending a long time looking at things which seem to bring her joy, moving away quickly if she seems bored. If someone else has her, I rush around, trying to catch up on all the pieces I have missed, wondering if she would have liked them. It’s not worse or better, but it’s certainly a different way of experiencing a gallery!
A particular favourite was the wall of moving fabrics, which she was captivated by. If you look closely at the image below you can see her little legs are blurry because she was kicking them so fast with excitement.
The exhibition was absolutely huge too – we spend easily a good hour in there, but could have spent far longer if we had the time.
We bought Frida a beautiful pop-up book from the exhibition shop, too – it was almost worth the trip to the gallery just for the book.
My only minor gripe is that there was nowhere to sit in the exhibition, so I had to breastfeed cross-legged on the floor of the exhibition. I don’t mind doing so at all, but I can see why some people might not care to do so, or find it comfortable.
It was all going so well. Until we left! It was pouring with rain, Frida was grizzling, S was running late to meet friends, and then we encountered… this.
Yes, that is basically a river, just past Blackfriars. No, there was no other way to continue along the Southbank. We had to take our shoes off and walk through the filthy water and pray the pram survived (it did, just). Hideous.
Cost: Free to us as my mum is a member, but otherwise tickets are £14.50 for adults. Well worth it in my opinion, I would happily have paid to go!
Travel: Public transport
Would I recommend it: Without hesitation. I will definitely be going back, as it was the perfect exhibition for babies.
This post was one of my “holiday at home” posts, read more of them here.