Follow the tiny paw prints down the twirling spiral staircase of the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House and ready yourself for a fabulous, fantastical explosion of cuteness!
Coming to the rescue of gloomy January this is a show that packs a rather interesting sugar-coated punch! Yes there are rows and rows of fluffy toys for little ones to oooh and arrrr at but it turns out that cuteness does in fact have a dark side. As you enter the first gallery room you are confronted with 18 fluffy kittens all created by AI. The text prompted the computer to create 'extra fluffy white kittens with unicorn horns'. At first glance they are adorable but on closer inspection you will note some are a little unsettling - the uni-kitty with 6 paws, overly doe eyes. It's an interesting opener. This theme of cute darkness pops up throughout the show.....
Next up are the oldest ever cat memes taken by a photographer in the 1870's (we rather loved these) to a full on glitter ball, Hello Kitty disco smothered in literally one million Hello Kitty toys. This show is designed to stimulate ALL your senses. There is an immsersive sleepover room created by hyperpop artist Hannah Diamond strewn with comfy beanbags, Furbys, Gremlins, Sylvanians, Care Bears, robots, video arcades, Japanese kawaii, fantastical creatures and even an Oxycontin plushy (Nice?!).
This is TikTok and Instagram heaven for the young but there is lots to interest older generations too. We couldn't stop ourselves stroking the fuzzy felt signs and furry exhibition walls! Although not strictly an exhibition for children the darker side will go over their heads and they will just reveal in the vast array of furry colourful things to stare at.
Hurrah for Somerset House cheering up our winter days with Cuteness (the dark side makes for a much more interesting show). We dare you to leave the exhibition shop without buying something !
Julia Colls 24 Jan 2024
Open 25 Jan-14 April
WC2R 1 LA
Tickets: £18.50 adult £11 child