Just a little note.
We know they like to play.
Others notice they like to play.
Sometimes it is hard with young ones knowing what you can and can't do with them,
and it is hard to judge how they will behave once you get there.
But perhaps the fact that we as parents are wondering how this is all going to pan out,
stops us from letting them just be themselves.
I feel often it is hard to just stand back and let them just be.
Energy and noise in my house is fast and furious, and apparently the louder the better.
For others this can be hard to tolerate, so I try to hush them all the time.
Last weekend I took them both to the Tate Modern,
we tread this path often,
it's a great path for kids and adults alike.
The Turpentine Hall is immense, space for them to play with that big slope, down into the hall.
(just a note, no scooters to be zoomed down the slope to unsuspecting crowds at the bottom,
we found out to our detriment.)
You see I want to get my kids interested in art at an early age.
Through play is the best way.
Sure they see my paintings, and they visit (very loudly) the tiny studio I rent,
but the best bit is they get to meet everyone who is part of the studios.
This is priceless.
They have fallen in love with Mr Lemmon especially.
They first met him by shouting through his key hole at him.
I have no idea why they chose his studio above the others.
(I was moving the car at the time.)
I came back to see Dillon bent double at his door, yelling through the small hole.
Mr Lemmon, who was painting quietly, shouted bogey men voices back at them to their delight.
When eventually he emerged, he was sporting his gas mask. Well you can imagine the shrieks of glee. He looked like he sounded.
When he told Matilda he smelt like he looked, she wanted to smell him. (no stopping this one.)
His studio is vibrant, magnificent canvases, energetic strokes, just the place they want to be.
He took the time to be with them and indulge them.
My thanks to Paul Lemmon who is apparently 'too cool for school'.
Seriously come see his work.
This weekend, details here.
So I surpose this is it.
Many of my friends do not take their kids to this kind of thing, because kids can test us beyond our means.
It is tough.
I suppose also we may not have the answers, to some of the questions they might have about a cow floating in formaldehyde.
But I have to say in the last week I have been joyfully over whelmed by my kids response to taking them to the studios and their interaction with the artists there, and to the Tate where we built sculptures out of paper at the core learning center and then walked around a gallery and I listening to their response to what they saw. Dillon decided to take photos of what he saw and wanted to tell his friends about.
They see and hear more than we give them credit for.
They get it,
take some time to see it through their eyes,
it will blow you away.
And for those of you brave enough, try the Tate Moderns musical slide, the kids will love it.
...I am building Matilda up to Damien Hurst next.
If you want to open your kids minds to artists, 'The boy who bit Picasso' is fun and also this series of books is a good starting point.
Now go and enjoy!