I expected not to like the New Tate Modern. The ginormous twisted ‘Switch House’ building is 10-floors high, would take a week to get round and there’s only so much modern art a person can take. But it’s fantastic, the new museum is big and beautiful, inside and out. And in a week where there has been so much terrible news, this feels like a positive, wonderful thing worth celebrating.


Frances Morris
Frances Morris photo: the Guardian

Not realising that I’d been invited to the big official press launch, I was excited to hear the director of Tate Modern Frances Morris speak, followed by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (I enjoyed Morriss’ Brush with Greatness piece on her relationship with Louise Bourgeois, in the Guardian). The collection has been completely re-hung, celebrates diversity and more than half the displays in the new Switch House are by female artists. Though when I visited it was largely empty and not yet full of art – but the brilliant Louise Bourgeois room is up and running:

The Louise Bourgeois room. All Switch House photos courtesy of the Tate.

When it came to the official opening, giddy with excitement I rushed across to take Sadiq Khan’s photo and asked if I could please shake his hand. I like to keep it old school (no Selfies required). Emotions running high, I then gushed, ‘I am so pleased we have a proper mayor at last.’ ‘Er, thank you,’ came the polite/bemused reply. You can’t take me anywhere…

Artist Wolfgang Tillmans is a Tate Modern trustee and has been campaigning about the EU Referendum HERE; doing my bit I’ve just printed off a poster to put in the window.

Check out my Instagram feed for more pictures of the New Tate Modern. Including some from the viewing level on the 10th floor.

17 thoughts on “Adventures at the New Tate Modern

  1. I went on Wednesday evening when it was open for a preview for members. There was a massive queue but well worth the wait. (We certainly needed something to cheer us up this week. It is genuinely frightening what is happening in this country at the moment. I too have a poster in my window.)

  2. Interesting building. I am from Australia and next time in London will probably go and have a look. Not sure why Frances is spelt with an i as that is for boys and the e is for girls. My stepson is an artist and he would be very interested. Thanks for sharing so I could discover! Love the installation of the ‘clothes line’. There is too much violence in the world today. If the Americans ever realise that guns don’t have to be a highly acclaimed ‘right’ then that part of the world will be a better place. I was shocked with what happened in the UK this week. Heard it on the news on the way to work.

    1. Oops that’s my mistake, Linda – thank you for pointing it out. I’ve corrected it, should be Frances with an ‘e’.

  3. Sorry, but I’m with Churchill not Wolfgang on the United States of Europe: “Each time we must choose between Europe and the open sea, we shall always choose the open sea”.

  4. I’m looking forward to checking this new Tate Modern out — and very pleased that it’s an addition to and not a replacement of the old TM, which I love! Of course, the frequency of future visits will depend very much on what this week’s referendum decides — I do hope your efforts on the right side of the debate count. Oh, and not that I’d ever get the opportunity, but I’d have been unable to resist burbling exactly what you did when shaking your new Mayor’s hand — he’s a sterling example of the Britain I want to see more of!

  5. I find it disturbing that people will actually write, “the right side of the debate”. These people likely think they are liberal, well educated and are the arbiters of what is right. Yet, in a true democracy or debate, there is no right or wrong side, there are many sides, all legitimate. In the end the people vote and the majority choice then is actioned. We won’t know for a long time if the people made the right or wrong choice.

  6. In response to Karen’s above comment: As another American, respectfully, I could not disagree with you more, and I think it is important to voice that in this read by so many people who do not live in the U.S. No one is talking about taking away your right to “bear arms,” as that phrase was used in the U.S. Constitution. The least we should do, however, is to ban the sale, purchase and possession of assault rifles, which have no place in the hands of civilians. Interesting that you would refer to “another dictator,” given that the U.S. has never been ruled by a dictator. Your statement that most guns used for violent acts are acquired illegally is incorrect, at least as to those used in mass shootings. I am no hater of guns per se, but a trained marksperson who divested myself of guns when I was pregnant with my first child.

  7. USA 2015
    12942 dead as a result of gun homicide or unintentional shooting
    756 children killed 75% of whom were under 12
    52 people shot by toddlers
    In the period 2005 – 2015 71 Americans killed in USA by terrorist attack. 301797 in the same period due to gun violence. The vast majority of the guns are legally held.
    I may be wrong but I doubt the toddlers will be deterred by more severe punishment.
    During a prolonged search I was unable to find any statistics for death by pressure cooker .

    I love this blog TNMA but have never commented before being a shy, on the fringes, kind of person. Sometimes in life however you have to stick your head above the parapet and speak out against unparalleled idiots.

    1. Thank you Catherine and Leslie. I’m sorry Karen but I’ve just removed your first pro-gun comment. Though last week a British politician was horrifically murdered by a maniac with a gun – I live in a country where guns are restricted and am constantly reading about mass shootings in the US. I can’t help thinking the two are linked. And, ‘polling this week found a narrow majority of Americans now support a ban on assault weapons’ (see link below)

  8. You’re welcome TNMA,

    Not sure about removing that post though. It not being there makes my post (and Leslie’s) look quite random. It also stops anyone else replying to Karen. Maybe if she read enough persuasive posts she might think about the issue differently. Change can happen 1 person at a time.

    As for Brexit ! I read a lovely comment from a 94 year old WW2 veteran yesterday. “What was the point in all that fighting if we’re just going to leave them” The voice of sanity. There seems to be a weird disconnect going on whereby the areas of the country which have almost no migrants are terrified of them and those which have vast migrant populations welcome the diversity they bring. Good luck to the NHS and numerous industries if the supply of workers they rely on disappears.

    1. I hear you, Catherine, but after careful consideration I’m leaving the comment off. I just don’t want pro-gun comments on my site. That is a fantastic quote from the WW2 veteran, and agree about the weird disconnect. Not helped by the hysteria, hostility and downright lies peddled by certain politicians…

  9. Tammy, perhaps I should have put “the right side of the debate” in quotation marks or followed it with a winking emoji. I do realise that “the other side” thinks they’re right as well, but quite honestly, I’m always going to believe that the side of inclusiveness and diversity and easy movement across borders is “the right side.”

  10. Crikey, I thought I was reading about the Tate Modern and then find I’m in deepest US gun control vs Brexit territory. Can I suggest we all have a nice cup of tea ! The sun will rise tomorrow whatever we do. Love to All!

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