Science Gallery Dublin presents a series of exhibitions examining “white-hot scientific issues”. It’s based on the Trinty College Dublin campus in the city centre and is part of a global science gallery network which includes Science Gallery London, opening this year.
This was our first proper day out together since moving to Dublin. After several weeks of stress and upheaval including a necessary but painful separation from Pea I was desperate to escape the unpacking and do something fun together in our new city. It needed to be something low cost or even better free because it turns out that moving your family to a different country is a bit of a drain on the old finances (nobody told me). I chose the Science Gallery for our first Dublin adventure because it looked really fun and engaging and
The current exhibition, Fake, explores copying and mimicry in a variety of ways, from art forgeries to biomimicry through a selection of objects and installations. On the day we visited the weather was shocking with torrents of rain of epic proportions. And I had the not too bright idea of walking for much of the way. By the time we arrived at the gallery, I was soaked through to the skin and Pea was chomping at the bit to escape the confinement of his pram. It always amazes me how incensed he can get at being carted around – it’s warm an cosy in there and he’s completely protected from the elements. I’d be delighted to be chauffeured around the city like this but there’s no rhyme or reason to toddler behaviour so what do I know?
The exhibition wasn’t yet open when we arrived, but we were invited to wait in the cafe until opening time. The cafe looks good, but we didn’t try anything as it was very busy and the queuing/ordering process was bit disorganised. Instead, we had a quick look around the bookshop and I spent some time attempting to strap Pea into his harness (an essential restraining device now that he’s mobile).
Once the exhibition was open, I had a hard time containing Pea even with the harness. It’s quite a small exhibition and it was well attended and Pea just kept gravitating towards the most physically intimidating person in the room and then getting right under their feet. Many of exhibits here can be handled but in my judgement, they weren’t robust enough to withstand Pea’s vigorous attentions so I had to keep dragging him away from things which was annoying for both of us. Some of the interactive exhibits included a pretend deli/cafe consisting of foods that can be in some way considered fake (such as Quorn, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter etc) a laughter simulator, and a vanilla sampling station (because the majority of vanilla flavoured things don’t come from vanilla beans at all but are manufactured). Other pieces included a fake alien head and a hairy chair that Pea was very taken by.
This is a really playful and thought-provoking exhibition that I don’t feel I was able to fully enjoy on account of the heavy duty Pea wrangling I was doing on the day. It’s most certainly better suited to older children and adults but not entirely inappropriate for a toddler, mine was just a bit stir crazy on the day. The upcoming exhibitions look just as intriguing so we’ll absolutely be back for those but I’ll be sure to release Pea into a park or garden to burn up some energy beforehand.
The Science Gallery is at Trinty College Dublin, Pearse St D2. The current exhibition, Fake, closes on 3rd June. There’s no permanent collection, so if planning a visit always check the website first as there’s nothing to see in between shows. Exhibitions are open Tuesday – Friday 12.00-20.00 and 12.00-18.00 Saturday and Sunday. Admission to exhibitions is always free. Accessible toilet, baby change facilities, cafe and small bookshop on site and the staff were happy for me to store the Pea-mobile at Reception.