The Britmums February Meetup at the Royal Academy of Art – Sensing Spaces Exhibition

On Valentines day, instead of being whisked off on a romantic weekend I jumped on the train with some local bloggy friends and we headed into Central London for the Britmums Meetup!

It was pouring with rain… really I hear you say?…. what a surprise!

It was also cold but I knew I had to make the effort as it’s always nice to attend one of the Britmums get togethers and as it was at the Royal Academy there was the added bonus of visiting one of the new exhibitions they have running right now…. Sensing Spaces.

Sensing Spaces; Architecture Reimagined – is showcasing in the main galleries where some of the most renowned, original architects from around the world (other than Britain) have been invited to design and create large scale works for visitors to not only walk into, but to touch and sense too.

This groundbreaking exhibition provides a unique experience to hopefully stimulate the mind and ask ourselves the question: how do spaces make us feel? It wants us to truly explore and engage our senses, making us think about the architecture all around us.

There are seven Architects (or practices) commissioned by the Royal Academy in total, giving us unique but equally powerful, inspiring installations to walk through and be hands on with. They are ENORMOUS, real works of art in building form and each one so very different to the next. A specially made film in a room in the middle of the exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to understand the methodologies of the architects involved.

Once we’d had a coffee and a catch up with the lovely Jennifer Howse, co-founder of Britmums and our fellow bloggers, we were treated to a talk by the exhibition’s curator, Kate Goodwin, giving us a bit of background to the whole idea and explain what she hoped visitors would take away from their experience.

We were then invited to wander around. I have to say I was rather excited.

Royal academy of art

This was the first structure we came to, any my favourite. The photo doesn’t doesn’t do the sheer size and breathtaking shape of the monument justice.

It was magnificent! And so unusual.

It was magnificent! And so unusual.

The four 'legs' of this structure encased a beautiful spiral staircase leading up to the top.

The four ‘legs’ of this structure encased a beautiful spiral staircase leading up to the top.

This structure brought the fun factor to the exhibition, and the section that the kids are going to LOVE!

This structure brought the fun factor to the exhibition, and the section that the kids are going to LOVE! There are tiny holes throughout which visitors are invited to poke extra long straws through, that’s what all the coloured things you can see in this picture are. I suppose using your imagination and creating an usual shape with your straws before inserting them is what it’s all about!

Some people made intricate designs such as squares, although I'm unsure where they got their tape! I made a tree!!

Some people made intricate designs such as squares, although I’m unsure where they got their tape! I made a tree!!

As we wondered round we saw the rest of the buildings…

There was a dark looking arch which was made out of solid concrete and suspended structures, some of which blocked out the light entirely.

There was a dark looking arch which was made out of solid concrete and suspended structures, some of which blocked out the light entirely.

I think I saw most of this exhibition. I would like to go back with my family as I think they’d find it as interesting as I did. Or indeed on my own so I can concentrate and soak up the atmosphere that the structures created even more. It did have the effect that the Royal Academy hoped it would on me, the visitor, and that was it made me really stop and think about architecture. It was breathtaking and inspiring.

Take this next structure which was very different again. It was a journey in itself, a maze type labyrinth which led to a zen garden. It had the most amazing aroma similar to a fragrant burning candle which filled the senses.

This

It was thought provoking walking through here. The floor was lit up from underneath by LED lights which according to the Chinese architect, was supposed to give the impression of walking on snow at night through a forest.

Myself (on the left) and my bloggging chums in the centre of this structure, the mirror on one wall gave the illusion of open space!

After we had enjoyed the exhibition I had a sneaky photo taken in the beautiful lobby, next to this mammoth work of art!

The sheer size of some of the paintings is overwhelming

The sheer size of some of the paintings is overwhelming

We had a great morning at the Britmums meetup, fab people and fab location. It’s worth making the effort to get together with other bloggers and Britmums because it’s always an enjoyable event!

I couldn’t have asked for a better place for the meetup to be held. Art isn’t something that I think too much about in my every day life so this was a fabulous opportunity and I loved it. I will definitely be back. My Teen was disappointed that I didn’t take him as he’s doing Art GCSE next year and would’ve found this interesting, but unfortunately he was at school. So I’ll be back with him and the rest of my brood! There really is something for everyone.

Thanks Britmums!

 

Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy is running until 6th April 2014, so get yourself down there, the kids will love it too. It’s open daily until 6pm and has a late night opening on Fridays until 10pm.

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