Having spent a reasonable amount of time on the South Bank this summer I very much enjoyed their Festival of Love. It focused on the range of love that can be experienced, from love of family and friends to erotic and finally selfless love. There was something for everyone to enjoy with exhibitions, events and, of course, slides.
I visited the Museum of Broken Relationships, which I will admit does not sound overly enjoyable. However, the curiosity of myself and a friend drew us in. The exhibition is based on a collection amassed by Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić. They have asked people from across the globe to send in objects which have been left behind after a relationship ends. Each item is accompanied by a story, some funny while others are sad or even cryptic.
Fascination led me from one display case to the next as each story or item brought surprises. One woman had presented a multicoloured painting of her vagina which was in place of sending the STDs her previous partner had left her with. You could sense that sending this in might not give her the closure Vištica and Grubišić are hoping to give. Other items are more poignant, as their owners interpret their significance with hindsight. A soft toy now demonstrates irreconcilable differences while an unworn wedding dress is viewed as inevitable.
Sadly the exhibition is now finished but it will continue to tour so look out for its appearance in a city near you! They are continuing to accept donations of exhibits so if you have a particular item you wish to let go send it in here.