REVIEW: Brick History @ Life Science Centre

Posted on March 23rd 2017 by Whats on Northeast

Words: Georgia Knight for Cuckoo Review

The Life Science Centre’s current exhibition is Brick History, which will be available to see until 14th May 2017. The exhibition depicts famous moments in history and a selection of North East landmarks, but the twist is that these constructions are made entirely out of Lego bricks. These wonderfully detailed, and quite obscure, Lego displays were created by Warren Elsmore’s team, and Steve Mayes. Warren Elsmore is responsible for the ‘World Events’ Lego buildings – of which there are more than fifty – and Steve Mayes is behind the Lego recreations of some of the most famous and recognisable buildings that reside in the North East. These exhibitions are displayed together in the same room and share an admission fee, but they are technically separated – the larger being titled Brick History, and the smaller North East Lego Landmarks.

Highlights of the Brick History exhibition include a depiction of an old cinema, an image representation of the first Silk Route, a dazzling building showing Hong Kong’s proud and modern cityscape, and a Lego scene conveying the destruction of Pompeii. My personal favourite Brick History scene was of the dinosaurs becoming extinct – it was very intricate in its depiction and more simply, I just love dinosaurs. Furthermore, this exhibition is very up to date and covers a large time-scale, going all the way from the dinosaurs to Obama’s inauguration.

The North East Lego Landmarks section is smaller, but just as worthy of exhibition space and just as immense in detail – highlights here include the Baltic, the Angel of the North and Newcastle’s St James football stadium. All the individual Lego constructions are complete with information around the cabinets, which I found very interesting to read and thus, found myself more educated on world events than I had been when I walked in (e.g. I learned about the construction of the Terracotta Army).

Not only are these little and extravagant buildings and quirky landmarks on display, but there are also very large buildings of castles and such within the exhibition. There are also Lego-themed prints on the wall, such as a fun and colourful Andy Warhol inspired piece; and images of other events with descriptions and Lego characters involved in the pieces. In addition, the display included artworks made of Lego – for example, a highly impressive art piece showed Martin Luther King making a speech. There is also a short film in the exhibition, depicting animated Lego people celebrating major moments in history, like the first man on the moon – this film is both educational and funny. I definitely had a good time at the Lego exhibition and was very impressed by the Lego buildings on show. I only wish there had been a little more to see! I would certainly recommend the exhibition (and the Planetarium, which was as wonderfully relaxing as ever).

This review originally appeared on Cuckoo Review, a site dedicating to developing the skills of young writers in partnership with venues across the North East. For more reviews from young writers, visit the Cuckoo Review website.

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