Franky and Jake were coming up from London for Seb’s birthday weekend. Most people would have booked tickets on the same train, makes perfect sense doesn’t it? But Franky and Jake aren’t ‘most’ people – they decided to book trains an hour apart! In the words of Home Simpson, “Doh”!

So after picking up Franky who arrived first, we had an hour or so to kill. We decided to spend some time at the Manchester Art Gallery whilst waiting for Jake, and I am so glad we did.The Manchester Art Gallery had a special exhibition on called Time Machine by the internationally renowned Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. What an absolute genius!

Manchester Art Gallery

Ever wondered what Marie Antionette would travel in if she were alive today? Well let Joana show you.

Manchester Art Gallery

This piece is titled Lillicoptere and is a real Bell 47 helicopter adorned with pink ostrich feathers, Swarovski crystals and gold leaf.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

You cannot not be impressed when you walk into a room and see a giant pink helicopter! 

Next up was a piece called War Games. Not as cheerful as the other one at first glance, but look closer and you will see the 1960s black Morris Oxford filled with colourful cuddly toys.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

In this piece, Joana  tries to depict contrasting worlds – outside the car is decorated with riffles but inside its colourful and cuddly completely oblivious to the world outside. Deep eh? 🙂

Next we saw Full Steam Ahead, a robotic sculpture made out of domestic steam irons to resemble the petals of a flower which opens and closes.

Manchester Art Gallery

We were hooked! We stood watching the various robotic flowers open and close a few times. The irons also release steam when the flower opens! It was so good, I made a GIF. Yes this was GIF worthy!

Manchester Art Gallery

From robotic flowers made out of irons, we moved to a piece called www.fatimashop. Eery isn’t it?

 Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

It’s not just the special gallery that display Joana’s work – it invades the whole art gallery. The organic richly colourful textile finds it’s way all over this space and you are forced to interact with it. One of our favourites was this piece which beautifully frames the painting of Jesus hanging on the wall.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

The Joana invasion continues through the art gallery with her art works and sculpture embedded into the art hanging on the walls.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Matt couldn’t resist posing with the giant textile blob on the wall!

Manchester Art Gallery

While Seb was at the train station picking up Jake (who finally arrived), we decided to explore our arty side and make Seb our own custom designed birthday cards.

We might have slightly taken over the kids section at the gallery but hey it was for a good cause!?

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

We didn’t have a lot of colour pencils to work with but hey ho, we still managed to create some beautiful birthday cards. Beat that Paperchase!

Manchester Art Gallery

We thought it was time to let the children have their colour pencils back and decided to make a move (with our birthday cards in hand ofcourse)

Not before enjoying some ice cream though. YUM!

Manchester Art Gallery

If you haven’t been to see Time Machine by Joana Vasconcelos, I would definitely recommend making some time to go enjoy her work. It’s on till the 1st of June and for £6, it definitely is a bargain.

Pink ostrich feather covered helicopter and giant ice creams! What more could you want?