Hye-Yeon Park

I am a little bit of a magpie (I know that is a massive understatement but just go with me here), so a Swarovski exhibition at the Design Museum sounded like my cup of tea.

The exhibition challenged 15 artists/designers to “explore the future of memory in the fast developing digital age”. There was some very cool (and shiny) creations, but what really tickled my pickle was Unfamiliar Mass by Hye-Yeon Park.

The ‘natural’ crystal shapes are fluid and touchable to begin with, but the magic happens when you cut a cross-section … you get a mini polar bear. Cut a different cross section and you get a slightly bigger polar bear. Keep cutting and you end up with an army of mini polar bears ready to wage war on global warming.

It is very rare that you get a beautiful object with cute factor. Even rarer when this was in part created by a multinational. Win!

Great Ormond Street children’s hospital has a new art installation. One corridor has been fitted with a magical forest that responds to movement in the corridor. As children move down what was previously a big scary white corridor, they see glimpses of animals running through the trees.

I like that the animals are kept as patronus type shadows (I’m sure the technology forced this in some way) because it makes it all the more whimsical. And anything that makes hospital more friendly for kids is a good thing.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j2RegeSwYM?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]

I love the V&A, it is one of the most incredible museums in London. So thank god I have finally twigged to the special membership for kids under 26.

For us lucky young things, the membership is only £35. I know it seems like a bit much, but think about it. Exhibitions, such as the Ball gowns or the Hollywood costumes, are normally about £14 each. So if you think you might go to a couple over the next year it is completely worth it.

There is also the benefit that you never have to stand in a queue. When I went to the Hollywood exhibition the line was about 10 meters long. I just ran to the front, waved my magic membership card, and I was in!

And then I went to the cafe and had tea and scones, because members get a discount there too.

Happy happy runawaykiwi.

On Monday I took the day off work. I thought I would treat myself and have a day of leisurely art viewing. First up was the Rain Room which I have been dying to see. I turned up half an hour after opening only to have my heart sink through the floor. The line was two freakin hours long. Two hours long on a Monday morning just after opening? What the hell, is the rain made of gold or something? I took it as a message from the universe and didn’t wait. I instead went outside in the actual rain and journeyed on to my next stop.

On to the V&A to see the Hollywood Costume exhibition. It is an exhibition featuring 100 famous costumes from movies such as Titanic, Fight Club and the Wizard of Oz. Shaking off my Rain Room failure, I rocked up to the entrance to be told that I needed to buy tickets from the main desk. Ok, no problem. Walk through the vast V&A to the main desk only to find the queue for tickets winding down the corridor.

Now I was probably being a little over-sensitive to long lines, but I threw a mental tantrum and got the hell out of there.

Time for take three, the National History Museum. As I exited the tube I came across the magical sight above. Children ice-skating around a Christmas tree with the Cathedral of Natural History in the background.

For me this moment marks the official start of Christmas. Particularly magical for someone who has only ever seen a summer Christmas – in New Zealand we are far more likely to be at the beach with Santa in shorts and a sun-hat  So although my day lacked art, it was full of Christmas cheer.

Get excited.