A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to Tate Modern on a school trip. I say lucky, but I was not looking forward to this trip. The thought of a three hour coach journey both ways from Gloucestershire to London and three hours in The Tate with a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds was not appealing. As it turned out we had a lovely driver and the kids had brought games/colouring/cards to keep them occupied on the journey. We had an early start 7.30am instead of 8.45am but it still only took 20 minutes before someone asked if they could eat their lunch. When we reached the M40 flyover (Westway) the coach echoed with excited voices checking out the expensive shiny cars in the multi-storey car showrooms. "I can see a Porsche!" "Look at that Lamborghini!"
We were dropped on the South Bank, walked past Shakespeare's Globe and were soon at what used to be Bankside Power Station. When it finished generating power in 1981 it stood empty until 1993 when it became Tate Modern.
We grouped in the massive Turbine Hall ~ you can get 7 double decker busses on top of each other here.
This is The Turbine Hall from the
glowy box thing viewing balcony you can see half way up.
One girl in my group said her Gran had told her look for Henri Matisse's The Snail. It was the first thing we ran into. What I hadn't appreciated was it was BIG. 2.7m by 2.8m. Wall sized.
One of Monet's Waterlilies, this was also wall sized.
It felt quite drab with it's greens and blues rather than the pinks and purples of some of his other work, but none the less impressive. I loved seeing this.
We found some Mondrians ~ normal sized and
Picasso's Weeping Woman, she is certainly full of angst.
One of Antony Gormley's statues.
We crossed the bridge over The Turbine Hall
looked down on a tree sculpture by Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist, made from lots of different types of trees
into the new building only just opened.
I'm not sure who this was by but I really liked it ~ the grey bits perhaps.
Of course, not everything seemed like art to me and several times the kids came up to me and said "I don't get that." "Me neither," I'd reply and we'd laugh and carry on. The children got a lot from the visit, stopping, staring and really talking about what they saw, which I suppose is what it's all about.
Some things however, seemed pleasing to me, Stack By Tony Cragg for instance. Dunno why, I just like it.
I couldn't work out what this town was made of, until one of the boys in my group told me it was couscous, he'd seen it on the news. It's a model of Ghardaia, a town in Algeria.
It was made by museum staff and chefs with couscous and salt to stiffen it following the instructions of Kader Attia, a French-Algerian artist. I liked this too, but art? I don't know.
Our 3 hours were soon up and we walked back to the bus. The
wobbly Millennium Bridge
and The Shard, the tallest building in the UK.
Our lovely bus driver took us on a bit of a tour on the way back past 10 Downing Street, Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, Buckingham Palace gardens and Oxford Street. Commentary provided on the PA system by one of the teachers, who was stupefied to see a gold, yes gold, Land Rover Evoque in Sloane Square. The boys at the back of the bus were impressed.
It was a long but very enjoyable day. If you get the chance to go, do. Go with an open mind, you're not going to like it all, some things are downright weird, but that's ok. Worth it for the Monet alone for me. I might go back, but without the gaggle of kids next time!
See you soon..............Clicky Needles.