After a week confined to the four walls of our home, thanks to Cyrus’s epic battle with a chest infection, we were desperate for a change of scenery. The city’s intu Eldon Square had become a second home for us, but this time, I decided to introduce my eight-month-old Little C to the enchanting world of art at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Now, an art gallery may not be your typical baby-friendly venue, given that the hallowed silence that envelops you upon entry is more potent than a Persian grandma’s disapproving glare. I half-expected the artistic venture to turn into a musical escapade of baby wails, but I was wrong thankfully.
Hogwarts Of Galleries
The Laing Art Gallery turned out to be the Hogwarts of galleries. No stuffiness, no eerie silence, just a lot of colours and perfect for little explorers like Cyrus. It seems the gallery was designed with kids in mind, ensuring even the tiniest art enthusiasts can point and gurgle to their hearts’ content.
Enter Sir Quentin Blake, the wizard behind the illustrations of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tales. In his eighties and still going strong, Sir Blake is a staunch advocate for introducing art to youngsters. He’s the reason I spent countless childhood hours immersed in the quirky worlds of The BFG, The Twits, and James & The Giant Peach.
The Laing’s “Quentin Blake: Inside Stories” exhibition was a feast for my tired eyes. It showcased the raw sketches and storyboards that shaped Sir Blake’s illustrious career. And let me tell you, art isn’t just for parents – it’s for pint-sized Picassos like Little C too.
As we strolled through the exhibition, his eyes were drawn to the bold parrot wallpaper. He also seemed to like the vividly coloured furniture in the kids’ play area. His gurgles of delight echoed through the halls as he feasted his eyes on the mischievous Mr. and Mrs. Twit. It was as if Sir Blake’s illustrations had cast a spell on my little one.
Cyrus may be too young to appreciate the hands-on parts of the exhibition, but the visit sparked my imagination. I’m already plotting how to recreate the magic at home and ready to unleash his artistic prowess with colours.
Despite the language barrier (Little C is still mastering the art of baby babble), the gallery visit elevated our one-sided conversations. It injected a burst of inspiration into our daily chatter, offering new topics beyond the usual baby banter.
I left the Laing with a heart full of joy, grateful for the opportunity to introduce Cyrus to the world of art. I’m already counting down the days until he transforms into a verbal toddler, ready for more artful adventures.
So, if you find yourself in Newcastle before July 8th, don’t miss the chance to witness the magic of Quentin Blake at the Laing Art Gallery. Who knows, your little one might just discover their inner artist!
For more family day out adventures, check out this blog post about our trip to The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland.