Following amazing reviews of Nathan Sawaya’s Art of Brick exhibition last year, I thought I would take my family to the latest opening of this talented artist and Lego enthusiast.
Based in the popular culture centre of the South Bank, the Art of Brick is nestled behind the National Theatre in a purpose built structure (looks a bit like a massive tent!).
We visited the exhibition with another family (their son is 9) and a friend of Ben’s (11). Therefore our age range started at 8 and was topped at 42. Definitely a wide enough age range to test the challenge of the brick!
Faced with the choice to drive in or take the train we opted for car. The drive was just over an hour and we parked for a total of £10.50 for our 4hrs stay (only 1hour was spent at AOB). The car park is literally opposite the Art of Brick so it was an easy transfer with minimum fuss.
Now, before I go any further I have to confess I am not a huge fan of DC Superheroes and even a lesser fan of Lego. However, after swatting up on my superheroes from my sons, I realised there were quite a few that were relevant from my childhood, so at least I would recognise one or two!
Upon entering the make-shift tent our e-tickets were scanned by the host at the door and we were led into the foyer, where you can check in your coats and buggies. Immediately, we are face to face with a Lego Joker (I remembered who he was) sitting on a sofa eating popcorn! He was literally lifesize and so intricately made! There is a space next to him for you to join him in a photo - was a fantastic start!
We then were invited to watch an introduction movie hosted by Mr Sawaya himself, highlighting his inspiration and a small insight into how he made the models.
The rest of the exhibition was made up of a series of rooms, all filled with the most enormous Lego models; by themselves, with other characters, Marvel posters made out of Lego, huge model faces and even their masks. The final display that literally took my breath away, was a lifelike Bat-mobile - it was spectacular!
The thing I liked most about the show was the way each room had a different feel depending on what models were displayed. The Batman room (well, thats what I'm calling it) had a darker feel to it, whilst the first room with all the characters felt more like an introduction and a locker-room of superhero power!
At the end of the exhibition was the obligatory shop. There were lots of lego sets, stationery, posters, mugs etc. all of which were horrifically expensive - I was really shocked! There were also TV monitors where kids can play Lego Dimensions and tables of Lego for kids to interact with (for free).
This was not my preferred family outing, but everyone else had an amazing time, however I can appreciate the skill and design that has gone into making such creations. At £10 per person, it was a lovely afternoon out and there is plenty to do around the South Bank afterwards, but that's another article.