Review: Gizmobots Exhibition at The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery

The Gizmobots Exhibition
*PR Invite

We are very lucky to have some wonderful museums in and around Basingstoke which includes the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery located at the top of the high street. They continuously host amazing and educational exhibitions and just recently we were invited along to have a sneak peek at the brand new Gizmobots exhibition which opened in August and will run through until October 15th.

What are Gizmobots?

Gizmobots are the creation of artist Mark Haig who, for years, has loved to repurpose and reuse old items and junk into something completely new. Each Gizmobot robot is carefully hand-crafted by Mark who comes up with ingenious ways of giving them individual features as well as conjuring up their own personalities.

 “40 odd years ago I used to sit in front of my parents electric fire making robots and rockets and space ships out of cogs, wheels and bits of wood that my dad brought back from his job as a clock repairer. Fast forward to the present day and here I am making Gizmobots”

Mark Haig Gizmobots Website

Having been featured on BBC 1’s Money For Nothing, Gizmobots caught the attention of the public and can now be seen in exhibition at The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke.

Visiting The Gizmobots Exhibition

We were kindly invited along to the press preview day of the Gizmobots exhibition by The Hampshire Cultural Trust and having two boys who love being crafty and seeing creations come to life I just knew this would be the perfect morning trip for them both.

As soon as we stepped into the gallery we were all muttering wow with each glance at the robots. There were small robots, dog robots, robots with moving parts, some with light bulbs, many made with vintage items that brought back childhood memories and one extremely large robot that the boys just kept going back to throughout our visit.

Jake reaching up to the large robot
Image courtesy of The Hampshire Cultural Trust

Sparking their Imaginations

The great thing about an exhibition like this is the fact that it helps children to get their imaginative juices flowing. We spent so long wandering around discussing how the robots would move, what they would sound like, what clever things their parts could do and whether they would have laser beams etc.

The accompanying wall artwork created by artist Dan Wilson complements the Gizmobots so well and really helps to bring the exhibition together.

the artwork in the museum and gallery

I honestly thought we would maybe spend half an hour or so at the museum but the boys were enjoying it so much that we were actually there for over an hour and a half. With so much to take in and talk about, colouring pages to complete and designing their own robot, both children were completely engrossed the entire time. I have also been told that depending on when you visit there will be a variety of other activities to get involved with as well. It really is a family-friendly welcoming space.

the boys colouring in at the Gizmobots Exhibition
Image courtesy of The Hampshire Cultural Trust

Sustainability Aspect

One of the biggest draws of the exhibition for me was the sustainability aspect. By taking others’ “junk” and repurposing it to make something completely new and fun is a fantastic way of proving that we really shouldn’t be so quick to throw things away (not that there ever is an away) and that everything can have a new lease of life… It just takes a little creative imagination.

the Gizmobots


The Willis Museum is completely free** to pop into and enjoy for as long as you like. Ideal for a little something to do after school or at the weekends.

**Of course, a donation is always nice as The Hampshire Cultural Trust is a charity.

You can find out more and check opening times on The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery website.

me and William looking at a Gizmobot
Image courtesy of The Hampshire Cultural Trust

Overall Thoughts

The Gizmobots exhibition was such a hit with my children and with me too. It was lovely to see them so engaged in a setting like this and hear them ask to go back again one day, oh and to also make their own Gizmobots at home (yes we did do this!) We will definitely be revisiting before the exhibition moves on.

my signature

*We were invited along to the exhibition in exchange for raising awareness on social media with no obligation to write a review. For more information on my collaborations please refer to my disclosure page.

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