The enormous circular sculpture bookcases of ‘The Dawn’ and the colourful stylised blocks comprising ‘Workshop’ sit on the ground floor entrance of the gallery and they are a striking introduction to Emily Floyd’s colourful and playful work.
The main display is on the third floor and features Floyd’s installations, sculpture, print and video work dating from 2001 to 2014. As you walk in Floyd’s flock of parrots in ‘An open space’ and the exaggerated size of the classic stacking toy ‘Steiner Rainbow’ will bring a smile to your face.
My favourite works were ‘It’s because I talk too much that I do nothing’ with text from Crime and Punishment circulating around the ‘Emerald City’ as Lady AB called it – actually a representation of the onion domes of St Petersburg. Similarly, ‘The Outsider’ was a glistening material interpretation of Albert Camus’ novel.
The exhibition also includes a specially commissioned kid’s project called Emily Floyd: The Dawn for Kids with two interactive spaces that encourage creativity using letters and words and inspired by Feminist activism from the 1970s and 80s.
In one room is a floor full of acrylic letters. Younger children will enjoy the tactile experience of walking along, holding, throwing and probably chewing the letters while older children will delight in finding the right letters to spell their names or creating sculptures using the letter blocks.
Around the perimeter of ‘Word Farm’ is some colourful bench seating by designer and educator Mary Featherstone which incidentally also makes for great climbing fun and running fun for toddlers. I saw a poor museum attendant trying to rub off marks on the benches and I suspect that will be a lost cause…
The second room of was ‘Small Press’, a location for children to write their own manifesto while learning about design and typography. Lots of fun to be had tapping on typewriters and playing with stamps!
Emily Floyd: The Dawn is a fun, engaging and educational art experience for babies to adults. Best of all, it’s free!
Fri 21 Nov – Sun 1 Mar 2015
10am-5pm closed Mondays