Louise Bourgeois at Heide MoMA

On the weekend we set off with the Little Lumps to check out the Louise Bourgeois exhibition at Heide MoMA. On our return I had planned to write an informative and motivating blog post about the artist and the marvelous exhibition. An exhibition showcasing some of the last ever works by one of the most influential and well-known female artists of our time. But having the Little Lumps at the exhibition somewhat changed my focus.

“Its great. They are all dead” and “They can’t move their heads because the heads are dead” was the response from the eldest little Lump. With the littlest Lump clinging around my neck like a monkey I realized she was scared. I began to look at the room and exhibition in a totally different way to what I normally would. I stopped thinking about what Louise Bourgeois was communicating and what drove her to make these pieces and started to worry about how seeing these images or objects were affecting my children. Through the eyes of my children it was kind of scary.

The gallery space was dimly lit, quiet and the sounds of us and the other visitors echoed. The sculptures were very obviously male and female figures. Like stuffed toys made from textiles coloured in a drab post war kind of way. The figures had missing limbs and heads. Or the heads were with out bodies and hung from hooks like drying ham. And some of these pieces, which to me seem characteristic of Louise Bourgeois installations, were placed in custom-made wooden, glass and stainless steel display cases. Giving the impression that everything on display is somehow more important than it really is, in an industrial medical display case kind of way. By the time I had taken all of this in, the Little Lumps were too far-gone to appreciate the skilled craftsmanship and the lovely colour of the geometrical textile pieces hanging framed on the walls. So we swiftly moved on to the next gallery and that is indeed another story all together.

Obviously our gallery experience this time was not the educational insight to Louise Bourgeois that I was hoping for. But I did leave thinking how remarkable it is that these two Little Lumps can strongly influence and completely change the way I view the work of even one of the worlds most significant and well-known female artists.

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