It’s the last few days of the Hilma af Klint exhibition at The Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park – the exhibition ends on 15 May 2016. If you are an arts-interested wheelchair user, I’d recommend going along to see it … with one proviso, that being: roadworks, aagh!
We went across to the gallery on a very wet and windy Easter Sunday, remembering it as having reasonable access and disabled parking outside.
To our horror, all the road-parking was suspended, pavement-access was covered in bollard-construction chaos and the sink-hole-like fascia of the nearby car park Tarmac was not a pretty – or easily negotiable – sight.
With sheets of rain beating down on our windscreen and bollards flying before us, I was less than keen to venture outside – getting soaked in an electric wheelchair in a storm is not my idea of fun.
Yeah, I know, we should’ve checked before going but am I the only wheelchair user who craves spontaneity? And why is it always the disabled access that is considered unnecessary when work needs to be done (#grumpy-face)?
Anyway, we rang the next day and, to our delight, were directed to a disabled parking space right next to the gallery/galleries. Yes, both the original and the new Sackville wing each have one space that can be booked in advance for those who need it (blue badge holders). So, result.
We did drive from one gallery to the other, parking at both, because the pavements outside are in a shocking state of repair and would’ve been a nightmare to cover in my power wheelchair. Seriously, what part of pot-holed pavements, corners on slopes and wheelchair wheels does go together? You do wonder whether an actual power wheelchair user is ever consulted about these things. Free Tip: turning a power wheelchair side-on to a slope is really not a good idea (it isn’t stable!).
We had a fabulous saunter around the galleries, loved the Hilma af Klint which was small and beautifully formed, took in tea at the Zaha Hadid designed cafe and generally felt well pleased we’d made the effort to go.
If you haven’t been before, The Serpentine galleries are small, probably no more than an hour or two’s viewing, and it’s very easy to while away more time in the small bookshop, cafe and the big park outside.
Do go if you are able and enjoy Hilma af Klint to 15 May 2016.