This weekend the five of us braved Storm Ciara to visit The Art of The Brick Exhibition by Nathan Sawaya, which is currently on display in the Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester. Keep reading to find out what I thought of it.
Most of us have played with Lego at some point in our lives. From early Duplo to complex Lego replicas of the Millennium Falcon, Lego is a family toy in households around the world. Whether you follow a pattern or build something from your imagination, it’s almost impossible not to put bricks together if you find them within your reach. Put them in the hands of an artist, where their true potential is unleashed, and the results are astonishing.
Sawaya is a lawyer, who became the first contemporary artist to use Lego as an art medium. His exhibition showcases almost 100 works that he has created from over a million Lego bricks.
The familiar children’s toy is transformed in to replicas of the grand masters such as The Scream, The Mona Lisa, The Sphinx and Michelangelo’s David.
It’s amazing that Sawaya has been able to recreate such varied and complex artwork within the apparent limitations of a rectangular plastic brick.
The artist has also produced numerous pieces inspired by his personal observations and experiences.
Yellow, is a sculpture of a man with a cascade of bricks spilling from his open chest, which tells the story of the artist coming out of the lawyer.
My Boy is another of his most famous works and is a moving depiction of a man collapsed to his knees as he holds the limp body of a little boy. Sawaya created this in response to a real-life story of a parent losing a child and it’s amazing how the man’s despair is captured so effectively in Lego bricks.
The exhibition is so popular that it has toured the world for over 12 years, setting up in over 80 cities in 24 countries.
Taking over Unit 5 of the Great Northern Warehouse, the Manchester venue showcases 25 never-before-seen in the UK pieces. It is a fantastic demonstration of the scope that lies within a humble Lego brick.
Having a three year old and the twins in tow made it difficult to spend much time looking at each of the pieces. Tall Boy looked at a few of the sculptures, posed for the odd photo, but whizzed past the rest in search of the Lego play area at the end. There, he enjoyed climbing amongst the foam Lego bricks, Duplo and regular Lego, using each to build and destroy walls and towers.
He would happily have played all afternoon, and were it not for babies needing to sleep, Tall Dad and I could have tag teamed to get a closer look at the exhibition. That’s how I’d recommend visiting if you are taking young children. But, there is plenty within the exhibition itself to capture the attention of slightly older children.
The dinosaur skeleton is just once example and a friend’s 7 year old told me that she liked the replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
This February half term (from 10 – 23 February), kids can visit the exhibition for free (one child per paying adult).
The exhibition is on display at the Great Northern Warehouse until 20 April 2020. You can book tickets at www.aotbmanchester.co.uk.
Make sure you check it out if you can. It’s truly incredible.
I was gifted our visit to The Art of The Brick for the purpose of writing a review. Views are, as always, my own.