Festival of Love @ Southbank Centre


Love. What is love? It’s that warm fuzzy feeling. It’s special, amazing, beautiful and magical. It’s one of those feelings that can only be experienced, and thanks to the Southbank Centre you can do just that at the Festival of Love.

Lucy & I popped in last weekend after arriving too early at Trafalgar square for the Pride parade (which we didn’t get to see after all!) and ended up spending about 3 hours wandering around. I love the logo and branding in general. Throughout the festival there was a lot of typographic detailing which helped visitors to navigate through the exhibitions and looked great.

The Festival explores the different types of love (romantic, sexual, obsessive, friendly, family)through exhibitions and installations:

Walking across the bridge at Embankment, my eyes were drawn to the bright neon type and shapes of Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan’s ‘Agape temple’.

Unfortunately the temple didn’t seem to be open so I could only admire It from afar but I’ll be going back at some point for a closer look!

We were feeling brave so stepped into Jeppe Hein’s Appearing rooms:

Luckily the walls weren’t up for long so we didn’t get soaked but another girl that had gone into a different room was stuck for quite a while, bless her!

Into the dry Royal Festival Hall, we found the ‘Tunnel of love’.

It’s just about the cheesiest room you can imagine:

Red lighting and perfume, Walls plastered in posters of celebrity crushes, leopard print curtain video booths, a giant game of Twister and a flashing DJ booth. It was a little bit bizarre but we loved it!

We confessed our love (for triangles and a lady that took our photo) and pegged it on the wall:

And if we thought it couldn’t get any cheesier, this happened:

I was always Sporty Spice back in the day (remember when you & 4 friends used to sing and dance pretending to be the Spice Girls?), but today Matthew, I’m going to be Ginger Spice:

Jessica Voorsanger’s ‘I think I love you lounge’ is based on the obsessive love some people develop for celebrities – luckily there wasn’t a Bieber wig in sight though!

We had maybe a little too much fun dressing up – we tried Beyonce and Amy Winehouse on for size too but they didn’t top the Spice Girls.

After our 15 minutes of fame, we headed next door to the Heartbreak Hotel by Lyn Atelier, complete with cardboard furniture and a neon sign by Chris Bracey of God’s own Junk yard.

After all that jazz, it was time to tone it down in the Museum of Broken Relationships by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic.

A collection of objects from people with broken hearts, there are lots of interesting stories. There was also an agony aunt exhibition where you could leave advice for your 15 year old self:

I think what the festival did really well was interaction. There was lots to look at, but you could also listen to messages on phones, watch videos and add your own comments. The exhibitions were fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously meaning that people wouldn’t feel shy and be afraid to get involved.

I definitely recommend that everyone visits. I was feeling kinda sad that I wasn’t going to a festival this summer but who needs mud, fields and wellies when you’ve got wigs, neon and love? All you need is love – that’s what they say, right?

The Festival of Love is on until the end of August so that’s plenty of time for you to Spice up your life (and let me know which Spice Girl you was too)!

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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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