Vandal Lust

A few weeks ago, I created a post, asking viewers to answer ‘what is your favourite art form’. After looking at the results and comments, I personally found it hard to give just one answer. I really like to create paintings and mixed media art, take photographs and also create short films. At the same time, what I really love in exhibitions I visit are large scale installations. One of the reasons why I enjoy large scale installations is because I like  to take my time to view them, walk around them and try to the find small and beautiful details that are not that obvious at first sight.

A week ago, I visited Saatchi Gallery and viewed a work created by Andra Ursuta; Vandal Lust. Andra Ursuta was born in Romania in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York since 2000.

There is a thrilling and unnerving sense of destruction and metonymy in Ursuta’s works (sculptures/installations). Most importantly, the artist doesn’t steer away from using her personal memories and experiences, whether the damaged psychology of her country or her own body, which is often the inspiration of casts, to ignite her mixed-media creations. Ursuta’s narratives are convincingly bodied forth by a distinctively fractured, somewhat deprived sense of craft.

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What I understand from observing and researching Vandal Lust is that self-invention and self-destruction are endlessly interchanged. It is not very clear whether Longing and failure that fill the work are real or artificial. “By resurrecting an obsolete piece of battlefield technology generally reduced to recreational use by living history enthusiasts, Ursuta blurs the distinction between authentic private feelings and their reenacted, staged version.” (Source: zoominfo.com)

Vandal Lust is a life size tableau that was inspired by “The man who flew into space from his appartment’ and it centres on a crudely made catapult that seems to have been used attempting to launch the artist into space using a large medieval siege engine, built to the limits of space capacity and  based on reconstructions found online. The basic part of the installation, which is the catapult is not a solid monolithic structure but it includes a variety of materials ranging from cardboard, plaster, scraps of lumber, resin and remnants of destroyed or abandoned objects.

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The following section is a part of Ursuta’s interview with Christopher Bollen from interview magazine, focusing on her inspiration and what she tried to say through her installation.

Vandal Lust borrows from  Ilya Kabakov’s famous piece The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment ? where the man is presumed to have successfully launched himself into space. In yours, there’s a dent near the ceiling and the figure curled on the floor. Is that about failure?

Launching and failing. I guess it could be seen as being about the art world, that trajectory. But it was more about knowing you will fail but going for it anyway

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What I really enjoyed about this work of art is trying to find hidden details, walk around the art piece and try to imagine the story behind it. Moreover, I liked how the installation had many different elements, the larger part which was the catapult, but also a human cast which was on the floor, as well as the bodies ‘effect‘ on the wall of the gallery. All these small details were there to help and lead the viewer towards understanding what the catapult was and what was the story behind the work of art. If one of the three elements were not there, the work would not make sense. After leaving the exhibition, I was very excited to go back home and research the artist and the messages behind her work and personally, I enjoy viewing works of art that are that effective and make want to think and research about them even after leaving the exhibition.

Do you think vandal Lust is an effective installation?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

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Learn

Are you a tourist or a traveller?

Have you ever wondered the reasons why people travel? Why do you travel? Is it a part of your job, are you visiting family, or are you going on holidays? In any case, thousands of people travel everyday for their own personal reasons, but what do they take with them from each travel?

This post is the last one, out of a series of three one-minute films ‘MOVE-EAT-LEARN’. Director Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of all films is an original and composed by Kelsey James.

The video shown, ‘LEARN,  is exactly what its titles suggests. With this film, the director and his team present their adventures and experiences throughout their travels. The most significant thing about the video, is that they don’t simply present the different countries and locations that they explored, but the new things they tried, experienced and learned. They believe that what is most important about travelling is learning more  about the places you visit. It’s not only about walking around, visiting touristic attractions and following tourist books, but engaging with the people of each country and making the effort to learn more about their lifestyle and culture.

Currently, tourism is an essential figure for modernity and one of the largest industries in the globe as it is an essential element in the structure of the economy of industrially developed countries. In the form of a economic practice, tourism is a commodification of space, place and movement. But it is a cultural practice as well. So why do people travel? Tourism can take many different forms and mean different things to people; economic and cultural practice, visual culture, mediation, ritual  performance, pleasure, identity status, power, wealth, freedom, search for  happiness, search for the authentic sacred. In any case, the meaning of this short film, is that we need to take advantage of our travels, and learn as much as we can from them.

The following quote I included, is one by the director of the short films, Rick Mereki,  after he was asked to give his Top Travel Tip, at one of his interviews from found at the Hostelling Blog.

“Open yourself up to everything and leave all your personal, cultural baggage and your insecurities at the door. The most amazing thing about travelling to a new country is that it allows you to shed the skin of who you are, you can be free to be the kind of person you have always wanted to be. Then open your heart up to everyone and everything and the world will open up in front of you”

Don’t leave everything you saw and experienced behind, take it with you. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller. Don’t just observe, experience. Don’t just travel, Learn

EAT

This is the second post, out of a series of three posts, with the title MOVE-EAT-LEARN, each focusing on a different short film, created by Rick Mereki. If you have read my previous posts, you probably know the following information already, but for those who are visiting for the first time, I will provide some information about Rick Mereki, and his series of these three, 1-minute films.

Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as  an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of the films is an original composed by Kelsey James.

This post, makes me think about the new trend, that has been going on the last years that has to do with people that enjoy taking photos of their meals and posting them on social media (Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter etc) . I personally tend to do the same thing, I, am not really sure why, but I do. This film actually makes me connect the artistic part of taking photos of food with the cultural aspect as well. Food is not just something that we need to consume in order to survive, it says a lot about our personality, our lifestyle, our background and our culture.

The specific film focuses more on the cultural aspect of food. It illustrates in a quick but beautiful way, how food changes from country to country. Based on the countries climate and resources but mostly, traditions and culture, food is is thought and created differently. In  ‘EAT’ , I loved how you can see the image of different meals prepared, combined with other completely different ones from other cuisines and countries that are not connected at all. I found my self enjoying the film and trying to match every meal with the country I thought it originated. The rhythm of the music and the fast change from one shot to the other, made it harder but  fun and entertaining.

Rick Mereki posted the following quote to his tumblr account, as a comment to his own work for ‘EAT’ short film. In my opinion, the reason why he posted this quote was to focus on the fact that what makes food interesting is our effect on it. And by travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures, you get the chance to come across different people and understand why they create food they way they do from eating habits and traditions.

Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked             – Hunter S. Thompson

This short film made me look at photos of food in a different way. Look deeper into where the ingredients came from, the way they were cooked and combined and what that said about the person that prepared them, about his habits, personality, culture and background. I hope that this post will make you thing about those things when consuming or just when looking at food.

Thanks for reading,

Elli

MOVE

A form of art that I haven’t written a post so far, is film. Having numerous film classes in my current course, I have become very interested in watching and creating short films such as advertisements, promos, campaigns and documentaries. For that reason, I decided to research a very talented, in my opinion director; Rick Mereki. What made me choose the specific director was his great passion for travel. This post is going to be the first out of  three that I will be posting, all created from Rick Mereki and his travelling experiences, called: MOVE-EAT-LEARN. 

Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as  an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of the films is an original composed by Kelsey James.

I can’t simply choose what it is that I love about this film, because I would have to say everything. The music makes you feel like a part of the experience, the quick pace of the film makes you fully committed to it and does not let you get your eyes of the screen. Moreover, direction here is excellent. The way one short take follows the next one is directed and filmed in an incredible and detailed way, that makes the effect of the film so successful. In that way, Mereki has managed to present footage from six weeks, and shots from numerous countries just in sixty seconds.

In ‘MOVE’, every single second is precious, plays an significant part of the whole concept and has an different meaning. The concept of MOVE is powerful; showing people that traveling inspires us to do, to dare and to discover what lies beyond the consolations of our comfort zones.

Researching more about Rick Mereki, I was reading on of his interviews online, from the ‘Travel and Leisure’ website, and I was very interested to the following question, that was asking the director ‘What has travel come to mean after visiting so many countries in just six weeks’

The more you travel, the more you become attached and connected to the world as a whole. I think that if a greater number of us spent time outside our comfort zones and immersed in other cultures, even for a little while, it would help reduce the “Us vs. Them” mentality that still exists in the world. People will always naturally base their beliefs and opinions on what is best for their family, their city, their country…but I think travel helps create mindsets that are more global.

What I love in such short but original films is the effect they have on me. The specific film gave me the motivation and inspiration to dare, to want to do something different, to take the time to travel around, discover the beauty of our world and experience it in my own, personal way. 

How did this film make you feel?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

What art form do you like the most?

Hello everyone,

It is hard to decide who your favourite artist is, or which is your favourite artwork, and this is because there are countless artists around the world, but more importantly art takes many different forms. So, what is your favourite form of art?

I would really appreciate if you could take a minute of your time and answer the following poll. It will help me get an idea of which form of art people enjoy the most and more importantly it will help my research for future posts. Please choose only one.

Thank you very much for reading and completing my poll 

Elli 

Mary Katrantzou LFW

I am very interested in fashion and the reason why I haven’t posted anything related to fashion so far is because I was waiting for the right moment, and here it is, London Fashion Week. Organised by the British Fashion Council, LFW ranks alongside New York, Paris and Milan as one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks, and its considered a big deal for fashion lovers worldwide.

Every year, I enjoy watching all four different fashion weeks, from online live streaming and youtube as well as reading different articles and interviews of the designers. This year, I got the chance to attend a fashion  show, and more specifically, Mary Katrantzou’s  runway collection.

Mary Katrantzou was born in Athens, Greece. She studied at Rhode Island School of Design and completed both her BA and MA at Central Saint Martins in London. She has previously worked for Sophia Kokosalaki and freelanced for Bill Blass. Mary received the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award in 2010, and in November 2011 she was awarded the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear. In February 2012, Mary was awarded Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards, and was also awarded Designer of the Year at the British Fashion awards 2013. At this year’s British Fashion Awards, Katrantzou is nominated for the New Establishment Award.

Mary Katrantzou is well known for her famous complex prints. Her architectural,background is apparent in the shapes of her designs.   ‘Her thematic collections revolved around an icon of luxury, looking for the filtered beauty within it; an object from art of design that a woman would not be able to wear if it were real”. In that way, she has created her own, signature style; something that is new and innovative and people like and appreciate for its unique and intelligent style. “Each print is designed around the garment, and the garment  around the print”

Even though the designer has become synonymous with her signature digital prints, for her fall-winter collection 2014, in my opinion, she took her designs to the next level. Her collection included super sleek silhouettes, pleated maxi dresses and metallic suits. Her inspiration came from the idea of uniforms and the symbols used on them from her designs decorations. 

She was also inspired by everyday wardrobes, from boy scouts to bakers and bankers. Texture was a main component of her collection, with symbol-shaped brocades, chain mail, and pleating. Monochrome landscapes were inspired by turn-of-the-century black/white photography.

What I specifically loved about her collection, was some of the fabrics she used that were so beautiful and complex in their construction, over printings, bondings and embossings. She applied graphically urban scenes to soft knitwear creating beautiful and dreamy garments.

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After her work was showcased in London’s fashion week, some people commented that her collection was hard to ‘love’, because of the flat angular shapes that looked very difficult to wear, and also because of the lack of her signature designs and colours, In my opinion, her collection was the exact opposite. In comparison to her previous collections, this one is definitely easier to wear, as she uses many different materials, and includes many pieces with simple shapes and less colours. Moreover, in her collection you can see a big variety of, prints, shapes, textures and colours, which makes it easier to wear and also more likely to appeal to a larger audience.

I simply loved her collection, her colours, textures and innovative prints and materials. I don’t know whether I left the show feeling that enthusiastic because it was my first experience in fashion week, or because I was feeling proud since Mary is Greek like me. But either way, it was a perfect evening and her collection just makes me excited to see what she’s going to present next.

Thank you for reading,
Elli

William S. Burroughs Photography

William S. Burroughs is a major American writer and artist of the 20th century. He became very well known as a kind of itinerant travelling American writer. Even though he took thousands of photographs throughout his life he is not really known about his photography work. No one really knows the reasons why he took so many photographs and whether he intended of using them at all in an exhibition like this one. I was very intrigued by that fact, so I decided to visit the Photographers Gallery in order to view his photography. His exhibition features over a 100 works including; vintage photographs, collages and assemblages alongside related ephemera such as postcards, magazines, newspapers, books and advertisements used in Burroughs’ pieces.

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What I loved most about the exhibition was the neat and ‘clean’ presentation and the creativity of the photographs (cutting technique, ink on paper, collage). Starting with presentation, I enjoyed how structured the space was. Every picture was in black and white, had similar black frames  and approximately the same size. Also the way the photographs were placed on the walls, helped enhance their beauty and said something about their meaning. These small details made the exhibition coherent and thus easier to move from one photographic series to the next.

To give an example, the following image shows a series illustrating a car accident taking place in New York. The series demonstrates how photography has the ability to record perceptions and events, counterpointing people, place objects and actions in complex patterns and layers. Every image plays an important role to the concept of the series as a whole, so they all have the same size and are all placed in a very structured way, giving the same importance to every photograph.

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One of the things that is occurring in many of the images in the exhibition is the way the artist is using photography to make a record of artworks in process, then takes his time and transform the artwork and then goes back to his photography and records it again. So what we get in this exhibition is the sense of photography and its relation to time, to things developing, things in the process of becoming a complete artwork. And in some few cases what we see in the exhibition are photographic images that depict artworks that in reality do not exist in their complete form.

Something else that is very interesting and brings me to the second thing I enjoyed was the artistic creativity found in the images. More specifically, I liked how the artist edited the pictures in an artistic and unique way. The following untitled images, are created using collage and also edited with ink and colour on paper. I love the different effect it has on the simple black and white picture, the fact that the image now has a touch of colour but still keeps its vintage style.

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“Burroughs used photography partly as a research tool, but also as a medium of visual experimentation. Processed cheaply and treated as disposable items, many of his photographs bear markings and scratches, and most are not titled or dated. The fragmented nature of his photographic work resists a thematic or chronological layout and is reflective of his nomadic lifestyle and state of mind.” (Notes from the exhibition space)

Burroughs tends to use the cutting technique in newspapers, where he cuts randomly the letters of texts and again randomly puts them back together by sticking the letters in different part of the text, making it unreadable.  In his photography, he is pushing this technique further by cutting up photographs and also texts and images from different media such as newspapers laced them out together, takes a photograph and that process is done over and  over again until he ends up with the tiniest bit of fragment  which returns in as a piece of a bigger  photograph(2)-Press-Image-l-William-Burroughs_Ian-Sommerville-Infinity-Paris-(Beat-Hotel)-1962--Estate-of-William-S

I really like the previous artwork shown and its incredible detail. I like the thought process behind it, and the way it has been constructed. I find its complexity very unique and for me that is what makes it so beautiful. Taking a closer look, you can see the repetition of the imagery , the mirror effect created and even though it may look abstract but it is actually  organised and structured.

Burroughs works in a unique way, as he arranges and assembles photographs and objects to conceive new connections and meanings. In  his  complex collages his assemblies are photographed and printed, then reassembled and photographed again and again, creating a near-infinity of images. These pieces functioned as a form of time travel, where the camera was used to literally cut pieces from the continuum to then be repositioned and disseminated.

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What I really noticed and enjoyed about the two images above is their simplicity. Both of them are smaller sized images in larger frames. They do not have to be larger, they have an important effect even in a smaller size. Moreover, I really appreciate when something is not very big because it makes you have to move closer to the artwork, take your time and search for the details. Only in that way, you get the chance to take a second look, find the hidden details and messages yourself and get a better sense of what the artist meant to say through his work.

“This is not an exhibition, which closes down and defines what Burroughs’s photography is but actually opens it up and hopefully invites people to reconsider Burroughs’s work in light of these images and to start really digging still more thoroughly into his artworks which are related, but not part of his written work. People will find their own narratives, their own stories and interpretations which are as valid as any other ” Patricia Allmer (Exhibition curator)

I personally believe that every artist’s aim is to get the attention of a wide audience, and make them not only view but also think about his work. Observe his works details, dig deeper into the hidden meanings and messages they might have and even create their own story and own truth. Did you manage to create your own narrative?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Why Create?

I have always wondered, why art? Why create? Why bother?

What is it that makes us want to be a part of any creative proccess? This is definitely different from person to person, but one thing is certain, that everyone shares unique a love and a passion for whatever art form they create. From music, novels, films, sculpture, paintings and many more, in order for something to turn out to be visually interesting and beautiful, passion is  vital.

Something else that I always thought about, is for who we create art for? Is it for our personal fulfilment, is it for a wider audience, for a career, for money or for fame? Even though I am currently living in London, I keep all of my artworks in Greece. And when I go back home, besides a few paintings that my parents have decorated our home with, the rest of them are kept in our storage room. Recently, when I was looking for an old small drawing, I found myself surrounded by all these paintings and art pieces that I have put so much efford researching and creating, and there they were, hidden in our storage room, where nobody saw them. I felt weird, thinking that I spent so much time creating something that ended up in a storage room, what was the point?

A few weeks went by, I returned to London and did not think about that, until I came across this man, in Cromwell road, between the Natural History Museum and the Victorian & Albert Museum.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 18.15.26As I was walking towards the tube station, I saw all these people surrounding a man, but I could not understand what was  really happening. I was very curious so I stopped and moved a bit closer, to realise that the man everyone was surrounding was actually creating art in the middle of the streets.

The first thing I noticed was how great he had created the perfect shape to seem like he was drawing on a piece of paper, but taking a closer look, it turns out that he was painting on the actual floor of the pavement. Even though the surface of the floor was not smooth, his work was very clean and his colours very soft. His use of different colours of charcoal was excellent making his final result look even smoother. I  loved how he had very limited materials, no canvas, no paper but still, he managed to create a very beautiful drawing and get the attention of a number of people, including myself.

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After observing for a few minutes, I continued walking towards the tube station, but I was still thinking about that man. More specifically, I was thinking about his reasons for creating art. Of course he was doing it for the money as well, but why drawing on the floor? If instead of drawing on the floor he used paper, he would then have his own small collection, and could even start selling his works. Drawing on the floor in London only means one thing. His art piece will last for one day maximum. Either the unexpected rain will wash it away after a few hours, or when he finishes his art and leaves, people will simply walk all over his art without noticing it was there.

But I am sure he was well aware of that and simply chose to draw on the floor because in my opinion he did not really care. All he cared about was his passion and will to create. He was simply living the moment, doing what he loved , experimenting and using his passion to create something interesting. To express himself and sent a message through his art. If he only cared about money or fame, I am sure that he would create art id a different way. But he didn’t. He just did what he felt like doing, and that was to create something beautiful that was not permanent and would last for only a couple of hours, and that, in my opinion was the beauty of his work.

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Firstly, I want to say  very big thank you to the lovely Dear Kitty. Some blog who was so generous to nominate Art Attack for the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award”

The rules for this award are very easy:        

Simply provide a link to and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award. Answer the ten questions already provided. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you enjoy reading. Provide links to your chosen blogs and let them know about their nomination. Finally include the award logo to your post

So, here are the questions

  • Your favorite colour: Grey
  • Your favorite animal: Dog
  • Your favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coca Cola
  • Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
  • Your favorite pattern: Houndstooth
  • Do you prefer getting or giving presents: Giving
  • Your favorite number: 7
  • Your favorite day of the week: Friday
  • Your favorite flower: Tulips
  • What is your passion: Art

My nominees are:

To my nominees: Don’t forget to include this image to your blog’s home page

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Thank you very much for reading,

Elli

Natural History Museum Red-Zone, Boring Zone?

One of the things I enjoy when having some free time, is visiting art exhibitions, galleries and museums. But this weekend, as I was reading Time Out magazine looking for a new exhibition to visit, I realised, that there is something about the word ‘museum’ that in a way made me ignore the specific event and continue with the rest of the arts-list. Do you know what I mean? As I started thinking about it, I believe that this occurred because of two reasons. Firstly Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. Moreover, they usually exhibit a collection of scientific, cultural or historic objects, rather than art pieces. And that brings me to my second point. As children, we all had been to a number of museum visits with our school, where we had to go around museums pretending to be interested where in fact we were all really bored and only waited for the time to pass so we could go home.

Because of that realisation, I decided to visit the Natural History Museum. It was not the first time thought. I have been to the one in New York and the one in London, but I was too young to remember them. So, I decided that it was a good opportunity to go again, and I am ver glad I did!

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Where should I start from? Probably the first thing I noticed. The amazing architecture of the museum. It is hard to pass by the Natural History Museum and not be amazed by it. Inside and out the building is simply wonderful. From the outside, the detail in form and colour is noticeable. The combination of geometric and round shapes along with a combination of red, blue and brown is what in my opinion creates this softness and makes the museums look traditional. The entrance, simply makes you stop and observe the huge facade and high, spired towers. The beautiful rounded arches and grand entrance are a perfect example of Romanesque architecture. The Central Hall, is created to be grand and spacious enough to display large mammals such as whales, elephants as well as extinct animals such as Dinosaurs.

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Extremely high ceilings, very large rooms and large stairs make the museum an extraordinary and kind of magical space. As you make your way inside the building, you move away from the traditional architecture which is replaced by more modern shapes and materials. In the Darwin space, glass is used both for large windows and for the colorful ceilings. The space is obviously designed based on the day light of the day, which is a part of the architectural design, as it comes in from the glass windows, doors and ceiling and lights the specific areas it was designed to light.

“There were many fascinating elements to explore: the sheer size of this valuable collection; the complexity of the scientists’ working environment, and their relationship to this collection – all bound together by the very contemporary concept of allowing the public to see behind the scenes” Anna Maria Indrio (Architecture team)

In this post, I will be focusing on the red zone, representing how the earth works. The reason why I chose to write about the specific department of the Museum is because it was the only department I was not that eager to visit and it turned out to be the best one. Everyone who has not been to the Natural History Museum is under the impression that it is a museum all about animals and dinosaurs. The ‘earth’ department though, is one that people should definitely visit.

Does the ‘earth’ zone still does not sound interesting? Take a look at its entrance

Scences from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3eJoQJ-ADA & personal footage edited by me

This department explores the ever-changing planet, discovering the natural forces that shape it, the treasures we take away from it, our negative and positive effect to it and its place and role in the universe. All these things sound very confusing, difficult to understand and definitely not something children would enjoy learning about. But what makes it so interesting is the way it has been put together. The way the earth works, is one 100% science, but the designers of the museum have managed to transform it into art. Everything on the red zone is made from scratch in order to illustrate the ‘story of the earth’ better. The walls of every room are painted in different colours, have different textures and texts on them, either drawn or projected. Every little object tells a story, but it does not work if people don’t make it work. In other words, every piece of the room is interactive. You have to press a button, or pull a string in order to see it working.

To give a clearer example, the following photograph is showing elements of the earth: Gravity, Ice, Water, Wind, Life.

Even though this might be ‘boring’ as a fact, the museum has managed to present it in an interesting way. In order to illustrate gravity, the top of the object moves, as if its falling. In order to understand ice, you have to place your hand to the second object and you feel the cold. When you move closer to the third one, you can see and hear running water. If you put your hand inside the forth object you feel the wind, and just by looking at the fifth one, you see a mirror (thus your self) and YOU represent life. For me, all these details are what make every part of the red zone interesting. With this interaction, children get the opportunity to learn by playing games. Adults are also interested in these activities, and the truth is, that by watching something that creative and interacting with it, there are more chances that the information will stay in your head.

Do you still believe that it is impossible for young children to enjoy a day in the museum? Take a better look: 

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Finally, the museums gift-shop is definitely something interesting to visit after viewing the rest of the exhibition. A large variety of stuffed animals, puzzles, board games, jewellery and many many more is offered. Small toys and objects that will keep your children busy and happy and at the same time provide important information about the earth, living organisms and science. Moreover, a big collection of books about the environment, planets and animals is available with amazing imagery and simple language that is understandable by children. Finally, there is a unique section of environmentally friendly objects and sweets that all have a ‘green message’ included, such as the following lollipops with different logos such as ‘stop waste’ or ‘go green’.

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I would definitely suggest to anyone to go to the Natural History Museum and spent the day learning more about our earth and all the living organisms that surround us, in a artistic, fun and interactive way. Parents should definitely take their children with them. You will be surprised by how much little kids will enjoy the specific museum and at the same time, how much they will learn. I wish I had counted how many times I heard children say ‘wowww’ during my time there.

For more information on the Natural History Museum, visit their website: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Thank you for reading,

Elli