One of the best things about growing up in my house is that my mum let me follow my own interests which is why at a very young age I had a very impressive Lego and Matchbox car collection. Although it is entirely possible that I stole these things from my long-suffering baby brother, five years my junior, I tend to blur on the details.
One thing that was entirely my own was my fascination with Batman and I bunked school on the day Tim Burton’s Batman came out just so that I could catch the first showing at the theatre.
Imagine my joy when Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes came to London. Combining two of my childhood loves, I was absolutely guaranteed of a good day out.
Most people have heard of Nathan Sawaya before and indeed, nearly everyone I have spoken to saw the first Art of the Brick show when it showed at Brick Lane. Nathan makes art from Lego and most of his pieces take several days if not weeks to complete. If you’re wondering how hard it can be to make Lego sculptures then you’ve obviously never tried to build a giant Lego airport after throwing away the instructions.
I have to admit, I have a love-hate relationship with DC. I simply don’t get why they felt the need to reboot Superman (or why Marvel have rebooted Spiderman more times than I can even bother to count anymore). I also completely lost my appetite for Christopher Nolan’s reboot of Batman after The Dark Knight. I like dark films and have a healthy fascination with horror but there was something beyond horrifying about the film that destroyed Heath Ledger. I digress.
There is something for everyone at The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes whether you’re a fan of CW’s The Flash and Arrow, a true Tim Burton fanatic like me or firmly dedicated to the very dark turn DC has taken in recent years.
One aspect of the exhibition that I did not expect was how inspirational and uplifting it was. In amongst all the truly impressive Lego models were inspirational quotes from a variety of authors including JK Rowling. It sounds hackneyed but I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every one.
My second favourite part of the exhibition was the entire room dedicated to villains from The Joker to The Riddler to Catwoman. There were several models of the Joker and I might have taken altogether too many photos of all of them.
It was the room dedicated to Gotham that stole my heart though. Complete with its very own Bat Signal, this is the room that took us back to Detective Comics roots and to the very deconstruction of Batman himself and I loved it.
I have but one word of warning about the exhibition – do not under any circumstances stop to shop in the store at the end of your visit. I have never seen such rip off prices in my life and the extortionate gift shop prices are the number one complaint on Google and Tripadvisor reviews. You’d be better off bribing your child with a year’s supply of ice cream than letting them browse in that store.
The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes is open until 3 September 2017 on London’s Southbank. Tickets are available on the Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes website and remember, tickets are available on Mondays for just £10. Normal tickets are £16.50 for adults, £12.50 for concessions and £11 for children. Family tickets and discounts are available.