Brick by brick

Stepping into the exhibition, Brick Wonders, at The Forum in Norwich, I was immediately transported across time and space. With over 70 LEGO sculptures on display it’s time to grab your passport and join me as we explore this exhibition together. The only limit is your imagination.

The Forum, Norwich, is inviting LEGO® fans of all ages to explore the marvels of the world, both modern and ancient, without leaving the comforts of Norfolk behind. Having teamed up with the popular local department store, Jarrold, and artist Warren Elsmore, who has curated the exhibition, The Forum hopes visitors will see “that LEGO [is] a product that helps feed our imagination,” going on to say that “we all want to explore and create. LEGO gives you the ability to constantly experiment with what’s possible.”

Each model has been sculpted to perfection using only LEGO bricks, and through these incredible exhibits we are given a rare opportunity to go on a journey of discovery across all seven continents, exploring marvels from every corner of both the modern and ancient world. Catching a plane from the major airport that takes centre stage, perhaps you fancy a trip to South America to see the Panama Canal or to Asia to see a pagoda – you can spend hours gazing at the vast array of exhibits. Every time I walked around I spotted something new! If you’re caught by a creative flare whilst visiting the exhibition then fear not, there are plenty of bricks to play with and you can even build a model of your own, or perhaps something that grows out of a brick wall to the side of the room, maybe a creative LEGO comment or profile.

Although the centrepiece is the impressively large airport, it is far from the most impressive display of creativity. My personal favourite was the mini International Space Station at the rear of exhibition hall, easily dwarfed by the International Space Station at the rear of exhibition hall – easily dwarfed by the large scale version hanging from the ceiling, yet holdings an incredible amount of character and detail, beautifully encompassed by tiles printed with stars and galaxies.

The Old London Bridge is a particular favourite for the staff at The Forum as you spot something new every time you look at it. I certainly echo that sentiment as it was probably the display I spent the most amount of time analysing. The bridge has six large arches with water and activity above and below. On top of the bridge sits two and three storey buildings, bustling trade, knights on horseback and even a church with stained glass windows. This is a truly inspiring combination of creativity and history.

The exhibition is free and I’d recommend leaving yourself an hour or two to visit. The space is certainly smaller than I expected, however what Brick Wonders lacks in size it makes up for in quality and attention to detail. If you are even remotely a fan of the plastic brick, this exhibition is for you!

With over 500,000 LEGO bricks used in the exhibition and some 1,500 building hours, it is certainly an impressive collection. In comparison, the largest commercially available LEGO set to date is the Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars franchise which was released in 2017. This set contains over 7,500 parts and is estimated to take an experienced builder in excess of 15 hours to build.

The exhibition opened on the 1 December and remains open until the 21 January. Be warned – at busy times there can be quite the queue! And if the exhibition inspires you, the Forum’s shop and nearby Jarrolds stocks plenty of LEGO kits.


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Roo Pitt

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June 2022
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