Slides on the Southbank

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Last weekend I surprised B with tickets to the Carsten Holler exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. I’ve wanted to go for a while after seeing the huge swirly sides outside the building, wondered what other crazy stuff the exhibition held inside? We headed down to Southbank Centre Market to grab a bite to eat before our afternoon slot, and after doing about two laps, we finally decided on a Caribbean curry each. They were delicious, and very spicy, but I managed not to spill any down my top for once; which was a bonus. We hung out on the river side while we ate, then cheekily headed back to the market to buy a sweet treat each. I went for a millionaire’s shortbread square, while B went for some raw cookie dough-brownie hybrid. As delicious as it was, I couldn’t even finish mine, and we soon waddled over to the Hayward Gallery ready to start our adventure.

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They really threw us in the deep end on our arrival of the exhibition. To get inside the gallery you first had to make your way through a tunnel made of sheet metal that was pitch black inside! You basically had to walk into this black void and hope for the best, not knowing which way to turn or what else was in there. Naturally I screamed the whole time we were in there (which B did not find endearing) and I was grabbing onto his arm rather tightly too! Once we finally made it out the other side and into the gallery, there were lots of bits and bobs to look at. I liked the ‘Pill Clock’, where tiny red and white pills fell from the ceiling every certain number of seconds, creating a mass of them on the ground. There were other odd experiences to be had such as a giant die for children to climb in and out of, as well as some hospital-looking beds roaming independently around a room.

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We went upstairs and queued for 20 minutes (grr) to take part in another experience where you go out onto the balcony wearing these crazy looking headsets which flip your vision upside down. They weren’t all too convincing, but we had fun wearing them and trying to work out our surroundings. They really weren’t too attractive though… There was another outdoor activity you could take part in, where you get strapped up to this ‘flying machine’ and go round in circles in the air. It sounds mental – and it basically was. We would have been up for trying it but the wait was an hour and a half(!) which was ridiculous.

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It was then time to leave and that meant one thing – slides! We climbed a few flights of rickety stairs (something my fear of heights didn’t appreciate), and got ready to slide down to the bottom. One tip though, don’t wear leather – my jacket made the most horrendous noise as I slid down, as it kept catching on the metal inside! It was a fun trip and I would have loved to do it again. Sadly the Carsten Holler exhibition has closed now, but keep an eye on the Hayward Gallery website as they always have super fun, crazy things going on!

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