Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Top tips & my top 5 Hackney Galleries to visit with kiddos

Here's my latest offering in Love East magazine, winging its way to Hackney homes this month. Read it here. Or just, ya know, here. Enjoy!

Visiting galleries can be ‘challenging’ with little ones in tow. The potential for breakages, short attention spans, the “will they / won’t they have a tantrum?” factor, why would you bother? Since I decided to give myself a #KickUpTheArts this year, I’ve taken the plunge with my three (age 7, 5 & 1) and been thoroughly, pleasantly surprised.

So long as you…

- explain the rules in advance (Use bribery or turn it into a challenge - “Whoever gets through without touching or breaking anything gets a bun.”)
- have a game up your sleeve (try “I Spy”, “Who can speak the quietest?” or “Tell me a story”)
- plan something to do afterwards (a trip to a nearby playground or park)
- ensure the easy availability of cake

…taking kids to galleries is FUN and inspiring. You can find lots more tips over on my pinterest.
find more tips here

My Top 5 child friendly Hackney Galleries

London wise, Saatchi Gallery is our new fave - it’s free, there’s no barriers between the artworks and the viewer and kids are really welcome. In Hackney, we’re spoilt for choice, but here are five worth visiting with the kiddos…

Stour Space, Hackney Wick - it’s recent “What’s Up Plant?”exhibition included a marshmallow cactus and a plaited plant on a tricycle. What’s not to love?! A small space with a relaxed vibe and lovely art shop on site. The adjoining cafe is excellent, with great food, coffee and canal views. Follow with a scoot at QE Olympic Park.

we had a good giggle at "what's up plant?" at Stour Space
Banner Repeater, Platform 1, Hackney Downs Station - make like Harry Potter and visit this great little gallery inside the station. It’s the best fun to get to and everybody leaves with a FREE piece of art.

the kids LOVED Banner Repeater gallery in the train station
Standpoint Gallery, Coronet Street, Hoxton - we once found a giant walrus trapped in the lift in this gallery behind Hoxton Square. Upstairs, Stuart Carey’s ceramics studio and the magical New North Press host regular open studios and family workshops.

...we once found a giant walrus in the lift at Standpoint Gallery...
BSMTspace, 5D Stoke Newington Road - streetartists a speciality in this Stokey basement, recently filled with lead balloons (really) and Jeff Koons’ inspired street art from Fanakapan.

fannying around with Fanakapan at BSMTspace
Print House Gallery, Ashwin Street, Dalston - next door to the Arcola Theatre, this space often hosts local themed exhibitions. Currently seeking submissions for a collage-themed exhibition in July, when the roof garden will be open to visitors too.

what's dalston done for you? at Printhouse Gallery
No excuses. Give yourself a #KickUpTheArts.

The Arts Crusader ⚡️

P.S. follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and give yourself a #KickUpTheArts

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