Rachel Whiteread by Jazmin Balfour

Rachel Whiteread Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995

Rachel Whiteread Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995

It was my 25th birthday at the beginning of January & I didn’t really want to do a lot. The only thing in my “to do” list was to go and visit the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at the Tate Britain. I hadn’t done much research on this one, in fact the only research I had really done was look at some instagram pictures and made the assumption that it was truly grand and we MUST see it. What a building, Tate Britain is.

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The tickets (in my eyes) were pretty expensive, £28 for both myself & Frazer and that was with student discount. Especially for the size of the exhibition. For that price I would have wanted three courses not just a starter (aka one room of works). And know what, I love sculpture but I just wasn’t into it. I didn’t feel anything, it was completely emotionless & stiff. It was however instagram heave, with the grey tones and brutalist shapes. It was a pretty quick whizz around exhibition, not much space to stand around and actually look at the turner award winning female artists work.  

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Exhibitions like this is why I want to teach the kids about art, fashion, architecture. It’s so completely objective, not one persons thoughts on works are objective. 

 
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I really wanted to enjoy this exhibition, the lack of wall write ups was a little disappointing. And it looked so amazing online, the textures and the colour palletes. But I just couldn’t grasp it.  

To round off the birthday festivities I was treated to an overnight stay at The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. It’s was the first time I have stayed, I have eaten there before and worked from their lobby but never stayed. I loved it the gym was great and we even managed a drink in the lobby. They were accommodating with child in tow & hey they are dog friendly, perfect. 

 
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Everything at Once - Store X The Vinyl Factory by Jazmin Balfour

 ‘Channel’ (2013) - Susan Hiller   

 ‘Channel’ (2013) - Susan Hiller  

In late 2017 we visited the exhibition ‘Everything at Once’ presented by The Vinyl Factory and Lisson Gallery at Store Studio, 180 The Stand. An ambitious group show featuring 45 multi sensory works by 24 artist in celebration of Lisson Galleries 50th year anniversary. To me it was great, Reuben was overstimulated, Bowie slept through the whole thing & Frazer got flustered because of it all. Hey not every trip with a three year old is plain sailing. 

We started our day fine, Frazer had to meet an artist to get a print realise Moosey was doing signed so I decided I would take Reuben first to the transport museum in Covent Garden (a tip to all parents, you only have to buy a full price ticket once. After that it is valid for entry for one year) which he loves there & Frazer came to meet us. After this we then headed to 180 The Strand. Reuben just was on some mad hype and control brain that we had to follow him around, tell him to stop running (which isn’t like him at all) and I even gave him the iPad half way so we could actually look at the works. 

"Just keep swimming.

I am swimming"

'Test Pattern No 12'  - Ryoji Ikeda

'Test Pattern No 12'  - Ryoji Ikeda

The first installation was brilliant by Ryoji Ikeda, now I have never taken drugs but I imagine this is what an acid drip is like. For obvious reason we didn’t take the 6 day old baby in & took it in turns with Reuben instead. Reuben was heisitant at first, of course you would be it so loud noise and flashing images was popping off. But he eased into and started to pretend he was swimming. I mean his imagation is wild, like he was some mermaid surfing the sound. This installation hyped him up, for whinging and destruction. 

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‘ At the edge of the world ||’ (1998) - Anish Kapoor

At the edge of the world ||’ (1998) - Anish Kapoor

He loved the “space ship” by Anish Kapoor running under it so he could hear the echos & making me say words to hear them. He didn’t like the amount of people and we had to wait until they dispersed before we went in to have a look. When looking up it was as if there was no beginning and no end, just an empty vulnerable space. 

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Images 1 & 2 Ryan Gander (2017)
Images 3 & 4 'MIG 29 Soviet Fighter Plane and Clouds' (2005) - Cory Arcangel

Reuben keep asking to climb up the stairs, he doesn't normally ask to interact with the art work, I normally tell him that he is allowed & then he lets his hair down a bit. But he is getting my inquisitive as he gets older ask. He was asking why he couldn't. Reading the information and map he told us that he needed to climb them because the map told him too, we swiftly moved on just incase. 

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'Pelopennese Line' (2017) Richard Long
We all know Reubens opinions on Richard Long if you read our previous post from the exhibition we saw at Houghton Hall. Well it translated here too, he had iPad in hand and didn't want to get involved, which was fair enough he had, had a long day. All and all for me I loved this group show. 

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Image 1 - Lee Ufan
Image 2 - 'I be' - Ryan Gander
Image 3- Reuben just looking grumpy as hell. 

As you can tell by the last picture and Reubens face I don't think he quite agreed with me. This exhibition has no ended but I am excited to see what else is to come in the future and maybe Reuben will be a bit my enthused next time. 

The Vinyl Factory & Lisson Gallery 
 

Reuben wears: Leggings by Tinycottons Shoes a collaboration with Tinycottons and Puma. 
Jazmin wears: Coat by H&M Shoes by Comme De Garcon Play x Converse 
Pushchair: Bugaboo bee 5

 

Day trip to Saatchi Gallery by Jazmin Balfour

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Bowie Ray Bailey by Jazmin Balfour

Introducing the newest member of the Moosey family. 

Bowie (pronounced: BOH-EE. OH as in NO) 

Bowie Ray Bailey

Born at 37 weeks on the dot in water on the 14th of November 2017 at 2.35pm. After initially stating "I don't want any drugs, not even gas and air." I took everything they offered me after a long painful labour as he was laying back to back. But I won't bore you with all the labour details, however painful I actually enjoyed. He weighed in at a healthy 7lb 10. Me and Frazer are both smitten. As is his big brother. I had initial worries that Reuben would hate him as he didn't really talk about the baby much during my pregnancy but he is in love, he asks to see him, sings to him when he cries and regularly takes time out of playing to come and check on him. I am so happy he has a little brother to play with. 

Wearing sleep grow by  Bacabuche

Wearing sleep grow by Bacabuche

Houghton Hall Part Two - James Turrell by Jazmin Balfour

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If you have read part one you will know that during the summer me and Reuben visited Houghton Hall. The experience to begin with was, how should we put this, a bloody disaster. Tantrums, peeing by the side of the car and being underwhelmed. Luckily part two takes a different turn, bet you are all glad to here that my moaning is over. 

When you get to Houghton Hall you are given a kind of map leaflet, these are Reuben’s favourite things. He is obsessed with following the numbers and this one didn’t disappoint. Our main objective was to see James Turrell’s sky scape for selfish reasons of course. He is one of my favourite artists! 

The closer we got the more excited Reuben became too. He ran up the ramp saying that “this is our spaceship mummy”. We got to the top & I tried to allow him to find the hidden entrance alone and goodness when he figured it out he was 1000x more amazed. 

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"our very own space

ship. We can reach the sky"

When we got inside there was a sudden rush and tranquillity & calm. I think both me and Reuben shared the same feelings, he stopped rushing & just climbed on to the bench & watched. We watched the aeroplanes over head from the near by RAF base. He spoke in whispers to me as if he knew this was a place to gather your thoughts & be bathed in light.

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We sat for the longest time that I could've imagined. I had thought that with the beginning of our day being so stressful it would have split over to now and the peace would be absent. But we admired the same qualities of the works together, in silence basking in the moments of calm. This was the first time I realised how much I have in common with my three year old child. That we appreciate the light & airy feels, we communicate mentally unknowingly and all that other tossy stuff.

He asked me a lot of questions about the sky, questions I couldn't answer. I tried to be witty about my answers and they made me think myself. Like “why can you not hug a cloud” & “are we aliens?” & “we are aliens? people are people” 

To Reuben this space had transported him to another world, the greatness of the space was alien to him. The sheer depth of being in a thought provoking space that essentially was just light & air was a foreign concept not only to a three year old but also to his 24 year old mother. 

Shit... it’s all really deep. 

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"Are we aliens here

and people are people?"

He watched other children rush in and out but still he wanted to stay put. Maybe it wasn’t as magical as I thought, maybe it was simple he was tired out from all his moaning and shouting in the previous hours. 

But as soon as we left so did that calmness, he sprinted down the ramps yelling “I am going to win poo poo head.” 

And all normality was resumed. 

I have serious mixed reviews about Houghton Hall & I do think I would need another trip to really make my mind up, and another pair of hands with me to distract a grump of a three year old. 

On one hand I found the sculpture trail enchanting & fully family friendly. On the other I found it over priced (a bottle of water costing £2) and I found the staff to be overbearing when it came to jumping down peoples throats about touching the art work. I honestly don’t believe this should be up to them, this is something that the parents should do in their own way, and it is incredibly off putting to families who for them, galleries and exhibitions are a new experience. 

It was an odd clientele as well, it was very "country estate", while we're very urban. I grew up in the North Norfolk coast & country and felt like I had been transported to my teenage years of trying to fit in with the horse riding crew who on weekends wore tweed with their hunter wellies & took their Labradors, Winston & Marget out for walkies. Then there's me, wearing Stan Smiths and Grimacing at the sight of mud, with our graffiti/nappy bags that say “Shit” on it. I felt judged & well I judged them too. (There were lots of VERY clean land rovers sitting in the car park I may add... cue side eye). 

I am on the fence so until the next time... If they will let us in after this review (side eye).

 

Houghton Hall Part One - Richard Long by Jazmin Balfour

Richard long mini moosey

Earlier in the year, September to be  precise, I decided to take Reuben to Houghton Hall. Mainly the selfish reason that I REALLY want to see both the Richard Long exhibition & the sky scape by one of my favourite artists James Turrell (whom I will talk about on the next post). I also thought it would be a change of scenery for Reuben to see the art in something other than a gallery which is where he primarily looks at it all. 

I had high hopes, great expectations. I should have known it wouldn’t be all smooth sailing when we got lost on the hour car journey there & my pregnant arse couldn’t hold in my pee any longer & I had to pee beside the car with Reuben shouting “the spiders will get your bum” at me.  

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"Go each side mummy

then we race, but don't touch"

Finally we did arrive, 1 hour & 36 minutes later and we were both excited as we drove down the long drive and paid £18 at the booth (pretty expensive but I am a cheap skate student) Why oh why did they put the bloody park right next to the car park, well that was lunch out of the window. After 40 mins I felt I had just paid £18 to watch Reuben half climb up a rope & then jump off. Cue the HUGE melt down on attempting to get him out; this is when time started to run out, they closed at 4pm. Eventually we got in with the help of an old couple (thank you for saving my arse) who could quite clearly see that this blimp of a women was about to have her own melt down & was flustered from the doubting looks given by tweed jacket 1,7 & 28 as I wrestled a three year old through the gate of the park. 

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Once inside the actual estate Reuben was extremely impressed by the granditure of it all, half realising that in the scuffle between us at the park I had forgot to feed my child lunch I crammed some squished pack lunch into pruned lips & he soon cheered up. He wasn’t keen on going inside part of the exhibition no matter the chocolate bribes, he said it was too dark so we skipped that and went straight to the front lawn. We stood either side of the vast stones leading towards the house & ran. We had to run apparently, Reuben demanded it all the while shouting “don’t touch the running art” “be careful”. Finally inside Reuben was uncomfortable, he was told immediately by the attendant “don’t you touch anything.” Which immediately put his guard up, I felt this too be a little frightening for him to have someone pounce on you like that. Every time we go to an exhibition we talk about not touching before we go in. This to me is a prime example of why it can be so overwhelming to take kids to galleries, the immediate thought of some adults are “fuck sake that kid is going to ruin the art”. I asked him why he was scared & he replied “there are too many people.” It takes this kiddo a while to adjust to busy places, he gets overwhelmed & to some becomes rude, to me he becomes shy and vulnerable. He will only reply no to questions & hide behind your legs. I really do think this is why he likes galleries so much, no one bothers him because simply they're there for the art work, he feels at ease because it’s not normally overcrowded and when it normally is busy people still don’t acknowledge him. He asked to take a picture & then we left. If I am honest I felt overwhelmed by the amount of people and slightly underwhelmed by the works within the house. From images I had seen the work looked far more vast & impressive. 

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"a pterodactyl done a

big poo there mummy"

Once outside all calm was resumed & Reuben bumped into his new friends, the old couple & told them how the paint splattered arch ways were where a pterodactyl had done a really big poo. Lucky the couple weren’t mortified by his imagination & a good job too because I never am, so didn’t have to do the look of “he is three...get over it”. We moved on racing back down the lawn & then time trailed around the slate. He was in a world of his own. His imagination started to bloom & I could see his little cogs working to think up the next part of our game & the adventure we were having. The shapes all around him were egging him on in his make believe & he was transported to a whole different planet. What had started as a really shit day had started to turn into something pretty magical.

Reuben is wearing t-shirt & leggings by H&M & shoes by Vans via Schuh.  

 

Stay tuned for part two of the blog post James Turrell & also why I am in limbo about a recommendation.  

Painting on a pushchair. by Jazmin Balfour

I am currently taking a year out of my degree at Norwich University of the Arts to have my second child. Needless to say I am missing it a lot. I really miss the creative outlet I had and I am trying to find ways that I am able to have an outlet. I thought I would share a previous project I worked on with artist Anmar Mirza, a Norwich based artist. The idea was a collaboration with emerging artists and a pushchair brand. 

The idea of this was to create a art piece that both parent and child alike could enjoy, and was practical. Anmar was the perfect choice with artist has his work is vibrant & inspired by tales from his childhood, as well as emotions. 

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Rana Begum: Space Light Colour by Jazmin Balfour

We take trips to the The Sainbury Centre for Visual Arts regularly as it is so close to us. This time we went and visited the Rana Begum exhibition : Space Light Colour. 

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Reuben was a bit apprehensive at first as we had to climb a spiral staircase that was quite narrow and dark. He kind of put his foot down and refused to go up, so I was a mean mum and grabbed him and ran for it. In which he proceeded, when we got to the top to sulk in the corner and not look at me. Finally he came around and we were friends again. 

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"I can see animals.

I am going to draw 'em." 

The first piece that we came across was the mesh installation (pictured above) I was super sketchy that he was going to fall into it, but was super careful, when I told him an over dramatic story about what would happen if it fell over. He loved the story and was super gentle when walking. We walked through and he pointed out that he could see a Grey elephant and a red bird in the mesh and wanted to draw them. He told me they were in cages because they had been bad, but they should be let out because its bad to stay in a cage forever. 

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Reuben was completely obsessed with this yellow installation. He kept laying down on the floor to show me how they looked and telling me that they looked different from down here. He counted the poles and drew the lines. He is really into drawing the art works we see, it kinder makes them interactive without getting touchy feely (which could end up being very expensive). Every time we go somewhere with installations that look "play friendly" but aren't, I gently tell him "be carefully of the art works, remember just look." I think taking him from such a young age, I mean new born, and never really stopping even when we did have melt downs & the steaming around and wanting to climb phase, that he now understands not to touch it. Plus he is just one of them really cautious kids that always holds your hand.

Rana Begum Mini Moosey

Rana Begum’s practice blurs the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. It engages some of the movements of the past such as Minimalism and Constructivism with the same level of optimism and, at the same time, is fresh and relevant for today. 
The way she has used the space and light to create different shapes when you look at each piece from different positions is amazing. Reuben was made up with this, walking back and forth "Look its a triangle" "Look its a square". I hadn't realised he had picked up the concept of shapes until this exhibition (bad mum moment) and we spent time counting the sides, from different positions each time coming up with a different outcome. This baffled him and his logic was "It's because of the power rangers." 

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"It's BECAUSE of 

the POWER RANGERS!!!"

All in all this was a great one to take him to, not only because it was local but also because it really made his brain work. He wanted to take pictures and jump off the pieces to see if that changed how they looked. He tried to lay on the floor and draw them. It challenged him, and his logic is just so funny.

The Space Light Colour exhibition by Rana Begum finishes on the 1st of October & costs £7
You can find all the information here on the Sainbury Centre for Visual Arts website.
I also suggest a coffee in their coffee shop & a walk around the university grounds. 

 

NUA MA Degree Show by Jazmin Balfour

Yesterday me and Reuben took a trip to my University, Norwich University of The Arts, to go and check out the Masters Degree Show. During the summer we were a day late and missed out seeing the degree show, which I was completely gutted about as I had friends work being shown in there. So this time I made sure we didn't miss out. 

MUA Degree Show

We grabbed a couple of the maps and wondered around "mummies school". Reuben was very demanding that we had to start at the top and work our way down because "it's like snakes and ladders mummy" So this is what we did. We followed the map and talked about what the exhibition was about. It was so wonderful to introduce Reuben to my university where I am studying Fashion Communication (although I am taking a year out to have the new baby) and I loved talking to Reuben about how I am learning something new everyday. 

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"This is called the 

hurt bum chair Mummy" 

Un Cheong, Communication Design
 

This was one of his favourites & his review for the piece by Communication Design MA Student Un Cheong was: 
"This is called the hurt bum chair Mummy. Because the spikes go in your bum and hurt your poo"
I love how three year olds just say the first thing that pops into their head with no preconceptions of what they are in fact saying. We stood there for quite some time talking about how this could be a mouses house but they couldn't lay down and had got angry because it was broken. 

Reuben on NUA STAIRS

Joskaudé Pakalkaité, Communication Design - website - instagram

Reuben enjoyed the colours of these prints and made me, his 24 year old mother, feel old when asking what some of the images, such as a cassette, were. From me this was all very nostalgic, reading and looking at the images. It's how I spent my teenage years, playing snake and changing the displays. It also made me really think about how much technology has changed and I started to question weather it is a blessing or not having EVERYTHING at our finger tips and how this will shape our children's personalities in years to come. 

Sublime

Leo Jerome White, Photography - website - instagram

I thought I would finish with Reuben's complete favourite By Leo Jerome White, an MA photography student, a piece about Cancer. He never really poses in front of anything and although he had his face covered like he is some kind of Graffiti artist, he actually asked me to take his picture in front of the amazing piece. I was also rather blown away by it. When I asked him what he thought it was he replied - 
"PRETTY! Pretty flowers like you. Pink flowers are pretty. Pink is my favourite colour" 
I understand that he does not know what cancer is nor the concept yet, but I do love how kids brains work. How they can find the beauty in something we struggle to. When comments like this are made, it makes me take a step back and look at things and life in a completely different perspective. We should really listen to kids more because they can teach us so much like opening our eyes and seeing what isn't really there & the beauty in most that surrounds us. Also he just really loves pink. 
The BEST part was there wasn't any melt downs for 1.5 hrs until we got out of the door and this three-anger decided he want to use me, his heavily pregnant mother, as a pack mule. I pulled him up the hill on his scooter while carrying every bag under the sun. When we got to the flat I had to stop on the bottom step for a break. And proceeded to get poked and moaned at to hurry up. 

A chair.

"There's a chair there!

I'm the winner haha poo bum"

Emma Rushton, Fine Art - instagram 

 

The NUA MA Degree show 2017 at the University Of The Arts Norwich is running from the
1st - 6th of September meaning tomorrow is the last day to pop down and take a look which I highly recommend if you can.  




 

WALALA X PLAY - NOW Gallery London by Jazmin Balfour

We recently took Reuben to the WALALA X PLAY maze at NOW Gallery. At first I was a little worried as it looked like a small space and I thought everything would go tumbling if Reuben started to get over excited. But it was pure deception and was incredible large. 

Reuben was enchanted and was obsessed with exploring, calling it his "colourful adventure". He found corners I hadn't seen with my own eyes to sit in & places only he could fit through. What away from him to enjoy colour and pattern. Ever since he has wanted a to paint his bedroom pink with white stripes. 

The maze by Camille Walala was created specifically for NOW gallery, with the aim of exploring pattern, movement and the human scale. This is a free exhibition and I definitely recommend it weather you take the kids or not. It is running until the 24th of September 2017. 

www.nowgallery.co.uk

 

Paris in January by Jazmin Balfour

For my birthday back in January my parents brought us a trip to Paris for three days. At the time through a haze of hangover I didn't think I enjoyed it so much, but looking back now I would love to take a trip back. We were lucky enough to see the Maurizio Cattelan show at Monnaie De Paris, which was completely worth it after the 40 min cue (and can I just say that the ticket prices for students in Paris was amazingly cheap, I think I paid around £7). Cattelan fine art but with humour real made the show. 

We looked at a lot of Street Art, Frazer's favourite thing was spotting the Invader pieces which later went on to watch a documentary about his work which was incredibly interesting. I have never really a big fan of street art, if I am honest before I meet Frazer I thought it was just mess. But the more I meet artist and see why they are doing things and the skill that actually goes into this "mess" I see if more and more as art work. 

Finishing up visiting the classics works at the National Gallery of Modern Art and a lot of shopping. I took a lot more images but didn't want to overload over one post so I am going to break them up. I really want to go back now and I want to take the kids this time, oh and stay in a better area. 

 

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery London by Jazmin Balfour

For my birthday back in January Frazer took me on a gallery tour of London before we headed to Paris for a couple of days. Our first stop was the Gavin Turn exhibition at the Newport Street Gallery. Its was great, fine art with a sense of humour. One of the best of the year so far.  We then ate at the Damian Hurst restaurant located with in the gallery, which was AMAZING! Very well priced and the food was great. 

www.newportstreetgallery.com