Last Friday afternoon was spent getting lost in Tate Modern with a couple of friends, with no real aim but to see some art and have a cuppa in the Member’s Room. For me, though, this visit was borne of my own secret mission to dispel the blue funk that’s been hanging around for ages, like a visitor so overly familiar they’re practically family but an unwelcome guest all the same. I’d nearly forgotten that art always has the power to make me feel better so I forced myself through a few real accomplishments for the first time in days: getting out of bed, running a comb through my hair, and putting on adult clothes.
Ready, set, ART!
First stop on our arty afternoon was to have a look in at the Rauschenberg exhibition (so good some of us have been in several times) and as soon as I saw the farty mud bubble machine, I felt the giggles rising, along with my mood. Then the trio decided a snack was needed, which set us off on a mission to (re)discover the various Members Rooms (isn’t there one overlooking St Paul’s?) These days, there are six places for refreshments at Tate Modern; we tried first the Members Room on the 8th level of the Switch House, then noticed a Gin bar on the 10th floor terrace (promising, we’ll be back for you later Gin Bar, when the weather’s better).
Moving over to the Boiler House in “old” Tate Modern, we found the Espresso Bar (4th level and a bit busy), the Members Bar on the 5th level, and the Kitchen & Bar on 6th. We settled for 5th level Members bar (as it had a better vibe, the 8th floor Members Room being judged as “too clinical” and “corporate-y” for the free-floating arty-ness we were currently enjoying)… we didn’t even get to the Bar at the ground level entrance of Switch House.
Revived after a bit of coffee and conversation, we decided to check out the Performer and Participant gallery on Level 3 and fell into Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art. What a joyful moment when I saw the words “Please Interact” on a plaque above the blue rug cluttered with a hundred wooden building blocks. Yes, thank you, don’t mind if I do!
I plunked myself down and set to work, paying no attention to the earlier anxieties as they began to slink away. Soon, we were all three on the carpet, constructing each according to her own internal blueprint: Peachey Palace (with a rock-solid foundation), Heather’s Hideaway Village (a cosy community of little villas), and Chateau Franclemont (just-balancing and determinedly higgle-piggledy).
Once again, Tate saves the day with art the visitor can play with… and I feel so much better. We each can now proudly thank the Tate for exhibiting our first artwork in a major gallery, which probably lasted all of three minutes after leaving the room but on a day like today, just showing up is what matters most! 😉
Recommended for: families; lunch break; a bit of creative “therapy”
Related stories and links:
- Meschac Gaba’s Architecture Room in 3rd Level – Performer and Participant galleries – Switch House, Tate Modern
- Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern – until 2 April 2017