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Celestine’s castle

‘Totally epic’: an eight-year-old’s guide to ‘Sensing Spaces’

Published 26 March 2014

Elodie Biegman is eight years old. Her mother is one of our Patrons, and they recently attended the Patrons family morning of the Sensing Spaces exhibition. Here’s what Elodie made of it…

  • The first thing I saw when I came into the Royal Academy was 100,000 pieces of Lego! The next thing was a table of fruit, chocolate croissants and pastries. Seven architects from around the world have built huge buildings in the gallery. The people in charge told us we could eat, drink, and lean on the art, smell it, climb on it, jump on it and break it!

    First of all we ran up the stairs which were like a turret in the South American fort and I could almost touch the roof. My sister called it “Celestine’s castle.” It reached up to the ceiling so we could see the angels, these are made with gold-leaf. They are so far up that no one ever sees them normally.

    Next there was an African cave of coloured straws, which was my favourite. You could get the different coloured straws and stick them in the walls, tables and sun loungers. People had made stars out of straws even – but you could rip all the straws out if you wanted.

  • My sister Celestine ran into the dark Japanese room and pretended to be Red Riding Hood in the wood. I liked the smell of the branches. Then we walked into the concrete Irish rooms. The heavy concrete blocks looked like they might fall on our heads, and the lights kept changing. They reminded me of the concrete stage set of the Magic Flute.

    There was a cinema showing that the buildings look completely different in China, Africa or by the sea. It showed that different things are important in different countries – ventilation, which means having a breeze blow through the building, which is important as Africa is so hot. In China the architect made a library of branches but I don’t know how the books don’t get wet.

    There was a zen garden with pebbles you could kick around. Then we met a girl called Arabella coming out of the Chinese twig rooms. She told us, “It’s scary, like the Minotaur’s Maze!” The ground was lit up and it was meant to be like a walk through a forest in the snow at night. But Celestine said, “It’s the three little pigs and I’m the wolf. Let me in or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” She liked it because there were three houses to blow down. But my daddy didn’t like it because he walked into the forest and hurt his nose.

    We said hello to Lady Judge - we always see her at the Family mornings. We have been to the Degas, when we drew real ballerinas in pastels, the David Hockney when we made art with iPads, and the Summer Exhibition where I took a photograph of my own art in the show. But this was my favourite family morning. At the end, I got to make a full size table out of Lego. Totally epic.

  • RA Patrons

    It was the support of a patron, George III, which enabled a small group of artists and architects to found the Royal Academy in 1768. While much has changed, we still rely on our Patrons and as a unique, artist-led organisation we offer them unrivalled opportunities to engage with art and artists.

    Find out more about how you can support us by becoming an RA Patron.


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