It’s not Paddington in the Natural History Museum but Pooh and crew at the V & A, an exhibition which went above and beyond my expectations on Saturday. A much loved literary character, Winnie the Pooh was created by the writer A.A.Milne in collaboration with illustrator E.H.Shepard. The exhibition takes you on the inspirational journey that contributed to the stories success. It explores character development and exhibits 240 works from the 1920s to the current day . This is done through interactive displays which are contrasted with the inclusion of original illustrations, fashion, manuscripts, proofs, letters, merchandise, memorabilia,cartoons, ceramics and photographs.
Following are 10 aspects of the exhibition and my visit to the V & A in general which were most enjoyable.
1.Learning of the origins of Pooh Bears name
3.Winnie memorabilia and merchandise
4.Exploring different interpretations
5.Interactivity and super-imposition
The exhibition was very popular with children, their enjoyment of the interactive displays evoked nostalgia which made the scene even more magical.
6.Line blocks and my love for print
THE EXHIBITION IS OPEN UNTIL 8TH APRIL 2018.
8.The cafe and gift shop
Cake choice is ample and inclusive of scones. I chose to share slices of the rose petal blackberry and lemon pistachio sponges. These tasted exquisite and were complimented very nicely by a pot of earl grey tea. Coffees, alcoholic and soft drinks are available too.
Eating at the V & A ‘cafe’ leaves you feeling like you’ve dined in a luxury hotel restaurant with regards to the venue. A grand piano sits in the middle of a room which is segmented by decorative pillars, archways and filled with statues. Giant woven wire mesh chandeliers hang from the ceiling like crystals adding a modern touch and amplifying the decadent atmosphere. The menu is a little on the pricey side though food is good value for money. The cheapest meal is a cheese, chutney and salad baguette for £4.95. For £3 extra add to this two special salads such as chickpea, sultana and shredded carrot, and cous cous with mint leaves. An example of one of the most expensive dishes is a salmon fillet with slaw for £11.75.
There are two gift shops; one to accompany the the Pooh exhibition upon exiting – selling Winnie merchandise, and the main store which is stocked with jewellery and books amongst other souvenirs. Generally quite expensive it was satisfying to pick up some bargain memento’s. Pictured are my purchases ranging from 75p to £3.
9. The courtyard
A trip to the V & A would not be complete without a stroll through its central courtyard. Usually teaming in the summer due to the outside cafe and water fountains, it is pleasantly peaceful in the cold. The warm glow of the highest windows highlight people pottering in the library and cases gridlock with books which fit into the surrounding building like colourful bricks. Bare trees layer beautifully against the architecture, the detailed branches just the same as the ornamental cornices. In the winter dusk the lighting is calming.
10.Open galleries and free exhibitions
The V & A has many open galleries and free exhibitions. Currently one of these is ‘Into the woods’ which explores the beauty of trees through a variety of mediums and tells how trees have long been a source of inspiration for artists.