Friday, 24 May 2013

Horniman Garden Party: A night at the museum

Last Thursday to the Horniman Garden Party in Forest Hill.

I visited the Horniman back in February and was drawn back the list of special events and the opportunity to see the gardens once they'd awoken from their winter slumber.

The main draw of the evening was to see the latest installation by Random International who were behind the hugely popular Rain Room at the Barbican centre last year. Their latest installation Future Self was located in the packed out the Conservatory.

We got the last spots for the performance and were standing behind a row of tall people. To begin with all I could see was the ballet dancers moving round the edge of the room. It wasn't quite the technologically innovative art installation that I was expecting.

Heads parted and I could see the light box in the centre of the room which was reflecting, mimicking and freeze framing the shapes of the dancers. Check out the video below to see more.

After watching Future Self we went on the Alternative Tour of the museum. One of the senior curators gave us a guided tour through three of the oldest galleries in the museum. The tour was a slow burner. I thought it was going to be desperately dull when it started, but I warmed to our guide who obviously cares passionately about the museum. I'm not sure I think of the Horniman as innovative as he does, but it's good to know that people who genuinely care are in charge.

After the tour we snuck into the Amazon Gallery which we didn't visit last time. It's designed for children, but all the big kids were having fun playing with the costumes and interactive displays we usually wouldn't get anywhere near.

Tickets for the event were ludicrously cheap at £3 each, it almost makes you wonder why they bothered charging at all.

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