I’ve always been a lover of Art. There’s something so humbling about walking around galleries looking at what people have created.
I love the space and the quietness, often taking time out from the city if I’ve been shopping, away from the hustle and bustle of the high street to find some peace and serenity.
I used to stay in Paris, during the hot summers as a child. My auntie lived there, so we used to visit her. She lived in a little top floor apartment up a tall spiralling staircase.
There was a tiny lift with a metal cage in the centre that was big enough for one person, but that rarely worked and used to get stuck. I remember finding it utterly terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
She lived on a pretty street that used to get used as a film set for looking typically french. I’d climb onto the window ledge in her front room, accidentally squashing her flowers to peer over the ledge outside, so I could get a birds-eye view of the film set below.
Sometimes she’d catch me and pull me back into the apartment by my feet, scolding me for ruining her plants and of course dangling out of the window when we were six floors up from the ground.
I would sit on the steps of the Basilique du Sacre Coeur, a picturesque church and sketch people and the district of Montmartre that is overlooked.
I really have a kind of nostalgic love for Paris. It reminds me of my childhood, but more importantly, it reminds me of a time where I was encouraged to be creative. I was free to express myself, which is something we begin to lose in adulthood.
It was in Paris that I tried my very first piece of real chocolate, dark cocoa and Seville orange buttons. I had my first visit to a Patisserie, which both started my love of baking, later becoming a chef, but it was also the first time I visited an Art gallery, the Louvre.
I remember seeing the Mona Lisa and thinking it was so small, what was all the fuss about?
As I got older I began to find creative people, in fact, I gravitated towards them. The idea of a normal life working in an office frightened me to be blunt, and so began my somewhat turbulent journey, filled with wonder, trauma and inspiration.
Arts are a secret obsession, a kind of driving force behind many of my decisions in life until I had children of course.
Why I take My Children To Art Galleries
Firstly, I want to say that the area I live in, Newcastle upon Tyne, has some fantastic Art Galleries. It’s a vibrant and creative city filled with dynamic transitions between fine art and modern ideals.
I take my children to art galleries because I want them to feel free creatively, encouraging them to think in an abstract way.
I also want them to be, think outside of the box types when it comes to life. Teaching them to be innovative while giving them the tools they will need as they become older, that will give them a break from the stressful world that is adulting.
A chance to be childish with imagination in a world where we must not be.
I like to make it fun for them. I like to let them run around in the big empty rooms and hear the echoes. I join them up for creative classes. I buy cakes and let them have that hot chocolate they ask for.
But I also want to encourage my children to view art as an important part of learning and development. Creativity is something I choose to embrace as I got older…
Art was a hobby, not a career choice in my household, or my school which pushed academic learning. I would not change a thing about my life don’t get me wrong, but I realise now, this held me back in life for such a long time. Until one day I finally decided I couldn’t contain it any longer.
It all came bursting out of me and I created this blog, Starting Today Blog as a kind of safe space for my creativity. Don’t forget to follow my blog and subscribe to my latest posts…
The Hatton, Newcastle
Based in Newcastle University this maze-like gallery is great fun. It’s modern art produced by students so it’s raw and progressive.
Art galleries are a beautiful representation of human culture and what we can achieve when we’re not thinking about politics, war or business.
Each room contains something unique, a new theme, who knows what you will find behind each door?
If you’d like to see more of the Hatton gallery head to my reels on Instagram for the full video and don’t forget to follow me too.
A great place for contemporary art. I love the Baltic, they also have a great play area and sensory room for babies, toddlers and SEN…
At the moment due to pandemic restrictions, you have to book the space, however, it’s a fantastic little space for kids.
There’s also the six restaurants at the top of the building which serves the most amazing food. You could really make a day of visiting this place, but there’s always fresh exhibitions taking place.
The Tyneside Cinema Film Club
I wanted to mention this as it’s something my son loved, it’s not an art gallery per say but more of course in film Production.
My son has attended this club many times, offering courses over the summer and during the school holidays.
At the end of the course, there is a film reveal and a cinema viewing where you can watch your child’s film with some popcorn.
They’re fantastic with the kids and they pack a lot of learning into a week so it gets booked up quick but I love this place. I would recommend it.
Finally, I think creativity is important, so that’s why I take my children to art galleries.
They’re a cheap alternative to things like soft play and usually a lot less noisy. They’re exciting, different and fun.
Destress, enjoy some art and let your little one get inspired.
• Blue Sky Thinking. How to keep creating when you can’t find any inspiration
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