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The Tate Modern is one of the biggest and most exciting modern art galleries in the world. In 1994 the committee at Tate Britain decided to create a whole new branch in their programme dedicated entirely to displaying modern and contemporary art with free exhibitions in London. Opening in the year 2000 with an unprecedented reaction from the public, the Tate Modern attracted 5.25 million visitors from all over the world, making it the most popular art gallery in London. Ever since then, this location has become a global cultural hub, showing diverse and amazing art from all over the world.
The very building of the Tate Modern is a celebration of modern art, merging the old with the new. It was built on top of the original structure of the Bankside Power Station, a generator from the 1800s that closed down in the '80s. Rebuilding and renovation began in 1995. Architects Herzog and Meruon directed the five-year transformation of the building into the eye-catching building we see today. The exterior of the new building responds to the existing structure of the power plant and builds upon it, creating a modern building fit for the twenty-first century while still upholding and respecting the history behind it.
Some of the stunning indoor architectural features of the Tate Modern include Turbine Hall, a gigantic open space within the building designed to house large scale sculptures and site specific work. The Oil Tanks, three large rooms preserved from the Industrial Revolution have been transformed into a vast space perfect for the innovative temporary exhibitions and performances. Not to forget the Tate Modern viewing platform, a balcony on the top floor of the new building offers an unmissable view of the River Thames and the beautiful London skyline.
The Tate Modern welcomes people of all ages. The entire museum is child friendly but there is a special gallery on Level Four that is dedicated entirely to igniting passion for the arts in young people. The art displayed in the Children's Tate Gallery is easily accessible for young minds and inspires children to engage with the pieces and think deeper about what art means.
The magnificent Tate Collection is permanently on view and free for the public to come and visit. One of the key exhibitions is the Start Display, consisting of two rooms filled with colourful pieces that teach the viewer about the basic constructs of art. It encourages the public to get involved and ask questions like, "how does this art make you feel?" and "why does it make you feel or think like that?" Simple ideas like this bring viewers into the world of creativity regardless of how familiar they are with modern art. It is a brilliant way to kickstart critical thinking abilities in children while also giving them a whole new cultural experience.
Another free, permanent exhibition is Performer and Participant. Spanning across eight rooms, this exhibition invites the visitor to engage with and activate the artwork, exploring the relationship between the art and the viewer. From paintings to sculpture, everyone in the family will enjoy this visual feast and the connection between art and action.
The free of charge, exploratory Media Networks exhibition spreads across thirteen rooms. This display covers various artists' responses to subjects such as modern technology, communication, feminism in art and more. Engaging with these concepts about the ever-changing world we live in, soaking in new perspectives and seeing the world through the eyes of an artist is a beneficial experience for adults and children alike.
The temporary exhibitions are something to keep an eye out for as well. Having well known international artists like Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman and more displaying their work in this museum there is always something new and exciting to discover here. These kinds of exhibitions connect in with the world of art today and let the voices of new artists with fresh perspectives be heard, seen and talked about.
Inspire a love for the creative arts in your family by visiting the Tate Collection exhibitions at no extra cost. Keep an eye out for exciting new temporary displays from contemporary modern artists all over the world.
If your thirst for art and culture is insatiable, why not check out one of the workshops or talks held at the Tate Modern to dive deeper into the world of creativity. From hands-on workshops for young children to develop their drawing and storytelling skills to talks that cover in-depth analysis of revolutionary artwork and guest artists inviting the public to have a look into their process, there are so many events for families to take part in.
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