Not only does the gallery have exhibitions that provoke a great response from the children, but the space is amazing in its own right. Not too big and intimidating, lots of wonderful light, and the “crows’ nest’ is loved by both my children.
It is a really cozy gallery that invites the children to explore and (due to its small size) doesn’t overwhelm them.
Plus, the staff are really welcoming to children and there are usually a few, well thought out toys that relate clearly to the current exhibition that help younger ones interpret the pieces at their own pace.
This summer holiday we have visited twice already, once to view the Michael Samuels This Was Tomorrow exhibition and once to take part in the Creative Cafe.
The 9 year old really enjoyed the main exhibition, depicting the throw away nature of much modern furniture (mostly G-Plan) and E described the sculpture as being an abstract house, finding all the rooms and even appliances hidden in the construction and voids. This may not be quite what the artist intended but I think it was a great response to a challenging piece.
The 14 month old loved exploring the physical space, the play of the light on the wooden floor and the different echos she could make in the different rooms (luckily we were the only visitors there for part of our visit so I was able to let her vocalise her response to the space).
As part of the interpretation materials, Spacex provided some wooden building blocks and some amazing Galt Toys A0576L First Octons – a set of clear. coloured, perspex squares that fit together in a very satisfying way to build structures. We built a mock of the Eiffel Tower.
We returned the next week to take part in the Creative Cafe, a space at the front of the gallery where children of all ages can use a range of materials to make a mobile. On offer were all sorts of wires, tissue papers, 1960 home magazines, retro wallpapers, old slide casings (they make fab “windows” and a huge pile of wood veneer sample strips.
The staff had already made some beautiful samples that hung in the window but we decided to continue with the abstract theme response to Michael Samuels’ work and created a representation of a hot air balloon.
We will be back – E is booked onto several of their summer holiday courses so I am very glad they sell a decent cup of coffee.
The current exhibition is Michael Samuels — This Was Tomorrow which runs until 15 September
The Creative Cafe runs until 31st August (Tuesday-Friday, 10-4)
The gallery is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–5pm during exhibitions
A range of children’s workshops are on offer during the summer holiday – http://www.exeterbabyactivities.co.uk/ai1ec_event/spacex-creative-cafe-1/?instance_id=16146
45 Preston Street, Exeter, EX1 1DF – about 5 mins from the High Street – if you know where Nippers Hairdresser or BookCycle are, you are seconds away from Spacex.
Lovely big loo with baby changing facility.
Buggy friendly (I don’t have a buggy but I think you could get one into the loo as it is a disabled loo).
FREE but £1 donation is suggested.
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