The art of the brick

SHOREDITCH, LONDON – I was interested to see the ‘Art of the Brick’ exhibition in Shoreditch earlier this year after seeing several posters on the London underground with this image on it.

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I was really intrigued at how someone could create such striking images with LEGO bricks that were playful but also beautiful.

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The artist is New Yorker Nathan Sawaya a former attorney and the first artist to take LEGO into the art world. He worked for LEGO for six months as a LEGO artist starting in 2004 and then left to open his own art studio in the same year.

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He’s been so successful that  he’s turned the hobby into a full time job and gets exhibited around the world.

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This exhibition has been exceptionally popular in London and as it involves LEGO, it attracts a lot of kids and families… if you want to experience this exhibit in quiet go during kid unfriendly hours.

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Although I must say, I think a lot of the children get excited after seeing this exhibition as they realise what potential there is in a little LEGO brick. And so after you leave the gallery area, you pass through the gift shop which has plenty of LEGO to simply play with or purchase.

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And in case you’re wondering why he uses LEGO, here’s what Nathan Sawaya had to say: “I like using LEGO bricks as a medium because I enjoy seeing people’s reaction to artwork created from something with which they are familiar. …My goal is to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before. I also appreciate the cleanliness of the LEGO® brick. The right angles. The distinct lines. But, from a distance, those right angles and distinct lines offer new perspectives, changing to curves.” 

The Art of the Brick exhibit is open until April 2015 so there’s still time to check it out.

What’s another unusual medium for art? Can you recommend any other art exhibits in London?

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Tower of London goes red for WW1 centenary

LONDON - On Tuesday nights I get to run with a great group of people who work at the Tower of London. We run all over the city and cover over 5km. It’s been a great way to get out of the office and get active. I haven’t been going much for a long time and I’ve got out of shape but last week we all met up and as I approached the Tower I noticed all the poppies that had been placed in the moat. Thousands upon thousands have been plants over the past few days and have attracted so many people. I’m told that as the volunteers place the poppies in the moat, the crowds thank them with applause in a sign of support and gratitude. I think placing all these poppies is a wonderful way to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1 – a war that changed Europe forever…

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Hampstead Heath

LONDON – Sometimes sunshine can be so rare in London. Lately there has been a lot of rain although it hasn’t been too bad in my area. I do think that London feels more like London when its rainy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver the weekend there was a fair bit of blue sky so I took Bus 46 all the way to Hampstead Heath.

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It’s a park that stretches across 791 acres of woodland. It’s rugged and windswept. There are paths and several swimming ponds.

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I took a path to the nearest pond and fed the ducks and birds my leftover bread. They weren’t shy. In fact, it quickly started to feel like a scene from The Birds. The white ones (not sure what their breed is) got really brave as they flew up and hovered in the air less than a metre from my face catching the bread before it landed. In a way it was impressive. But as more and more of them came, and they competed with each other for my old bread, I decided to take a step back and headed up a small hill.

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There were lots of people in the park today. Couples and plenty of families. It was nice to see kids get excited about being outdoors as they balanced on the fallen branches and kicked the dead leaves.

Some other great parks in London that are great to explore:

Battersea Park

St. James’s Park