Halloween Nightmare at the Tate Britain Gallery
No, this isn't exactly the nightmare you think. It was even worse than a nightmare, after all I can cope with ghosts and ghouls but not screaming kids in national art galleries:-)
The Tate Britain ran a 'SpookyTate' day on Halloween. It was a day that kids in Halloween outfits were let to run wild in the Galleries (something I hadn't bargained for).
Imagine the hell.
Hundreds of young kids spralled all over the normally quiet galleries, were screaming, chucking all their clutter all over the floor like a creche.
Visitors like myself were tripping up over their pencils, bags and orange Halloween papers trying to look at the paintings, sometimes being unable to hear each other. I dread to think what the visually impaired people thought as their guidedogs, if they have them, navigated the creche. In fact, the Tate were encouraging them to come by providing large print descriptions by the paintings.
I also tripped over the ZigZag type artwork, distracted by the noise which was a tripping hazard anyway. The Tate failed to put any hazard warning signs.
I had wanted to visit the Turner and Constable Galleries but I am pleased to say that the Turner Galleries were actually spared this Halloween Hell.
Now the worst bit was the Constable Gallery:
A couple of chinese people (one dressed in ChineseOpera) were getting the kids to play loud Chinese musical instruments including the gong. Needless to say there was a huge racket. I am surprised the loud gongs didn't dislodge any of Constable's paintings. The racket of the chinese gongs and screeching music failed to complement Constable's poetical paintings of Suffolk. As I walked by I overhead other visitors complaining too. I actually had to cut my trip short and had a headache that lasted the rest of the day:-)
I believe that kids should be encouraged to learn art young but kids treating art galleries as some kind of children's playground is inappropriate. No one was making any effort to clean up the mess. Will our National Treasures be damaged if they throw orange paint and objects at the paintings? A national art gallery isn't designed to be a playground. It is no wonder some of the staff looked unhappy too, but they have no choice.
I have videoed a short clip (I asked permission) which I will upload later.
I personally handed in a 'What do you Think' comment form to the Tate which I found hidden behind the information desk, they didn't put them out in the galleries.
The only bright side was reading the visitor comments stuck up on a wall by The Turner Prize Gallery, a number of people said the exhibition was overpriced and ageist (underlined) and one person said 'this is what I think of it and left a blank page'. The Tate PR people didn't vet these comments.
Next time they ought to invite me to their previews:-)