The memory of The Young Londoner’s littlest editor may still be fickle, for he is only two, but Regent’s Park he knows well because many a time he’s attended ZSL London Zoo. As Frieze Sculpture has returned to the Regent’s Park English Gardens we decided to spend the day visiting the outdoor sculpture exhibition.
There is something delightful and freeing about seeing giant sculptures out in the fresh air, amidst the trees and topiary of one of the most beautiful London parks. And it is a relaxing way to get the little ones to experience and enjoy culture without worrying about them shouting, climbing or dribbling over the artworks!
This year (2019) there are 23 sculptures on display and there is a free audio tour by curator Claire Lilley and a family trail that can help you explore them at your own pace, both available through a free app. Our toddlers were very much captivated with this year’s offering.
Robert Indiana’s ONE through ZERO, features a series of giant metal numbers which look wonderful against the backdrop of the London skyline, and we enjoyed standing in the middle of the circle, like a numerical version of Stonehenge or a fairytale clock (perhaps out of Alice in Wonderland or Salvador Dali’s paintings). We spun around until we were dizzy and fell to the ground howling with laughter, we played around with telling the time in a disjointed non linear fashion and climbed on the numbers learning them along the way.
Lars Fisk, Tudor Ball has a Tudor house (complete with flower display on windowsill) transform into a ball and we were intrigued by the red flowers and felt a knock on the door was appropriate. We also tried to push the ball but you will be relieved to know it didn’t budge!
Tracy Emin is exhibiting again this year and her piece When I sleep features a large bronze figure laying vulnerably in the foetal position, which one toddler seemed to think was reminiscent of a horse.
But the most intriguing piece for our youngest editor was Jaume Plensa’s, Laura Asias Dream which he kept returning to examine and observe from different angles. He seemed to go through a series of different emotions whilst interacting with the sculpture, from delight to fear to pensive contemplation.
This was followed closely by Leiko Ikemura’s Usagi Kannon which is a rabbit like creature whose skirt forms a dome where the toddlers could hide under and play peekaboo…on repeat for ten minutes.
Frieze Sculpture Park is on at Regent’s Park English Gardens until 6 October 2019 and it is a great way to appreciate interesting art whilst also enjoying the great outdoors. And it is free so you can visit on multiple occasions for picnics with family members, walks with London visitors or during your lunch break.