We finally made it to London’s Lego exhibition; at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1. We were greeted warmly by staff and waited a short couple of minutes before the welcome video began, in which we met Lego artiste extraordinaire, Nathan Sawaya. In his opening address, he takes us on a journey through his Lego infused childhood, his study at New York University and subsequent stifling career as a corporate lawyer. He released his creative side through Lego and eventually allowed the Lego beast to escape – the classic inner artist turmoil.
Like many others, we’re so happy he followed his passion and it’s clear from this personal, first exhibition, that it was not an easy transition from corporate being to a creative one.
The first part of the exhibition demonstrates his skill at transferring classic artworks from the Mona Lisa, to The Scream and Van Gogh to studies in shade, light and texture of brick. My favourite in this section was the brilliant rendition of Lego Vermeer’s ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ which from a distance looked so unlike Lego, it softened and warmed you, just like a painting.
This was a particularly clever piece of art as this background of the painting was ‘flat Lego’ like paint on canvas, but the ghostly figure was built in relief to stand apart from the rest of the piece in 3D, making full use of the medium of brick. We loved it!
We took a ten year old – pictured – who’s a LEGO fanatic. There weren’t many young children there that day and I would probably say it’s not for all children. It’s still an ‘art’ exhibition in the traditional sense that the visuals are there to be looked at, but not touched. No museum interactivity here – there’s a small zone at the end of the exhibition where there are child-high trays of Lego to rummage around in, but as far as interactivity goes, that’s your lot. So think carefully about the age and attention span of your child as this is not at about £50.00 this is not cheap day out if you are family of two adults and two children (there are slight concessions depending on what day of the week you go).
As you can see from these two pieces of street art that I photographed, the art outside of the Lego exhibition was every bit as thrilling as that inside it.
Then there was indoor market, brimming with vintage clothes and sounds. Whatever your medium, you come away from ‘the Lane’ inspired to create.
© Suzy Rigg
Writing every word