ON MAY 13, 2000, a disused power station on the south bank of London's River Thames started a new life as Tate Modern. It's one of my favourite spaces in London, hosting some of the best modern and contemporary art. There's something electric about the venue and it's especially noticeable at night when walking its hallways. Walking across the pedestrian bridge into the old structure is part of a pilgrimage that revitalises me. It's as though the empty shell of a building that used to lurk on the unfashionable side of the Thames symbolised Britain's industrial decline but now the fixture clearly marks the prominence of another, more subtle dominance of creativity and an economic engine in itself, generating £100m in economic benefits to London annually. Art matters to England and art grows in the Tate Modern. Visitor numbers in the tenth year of the Tate Modern outstrip many other cultural venues across the globe. Nearly 5m walked through Tate Modern in its first year and it averages 4.6m per year, making it one of the UK's top three tourist attractions. I'm one of the 2m people who have participated in Tate Modern's education programmes. We're overdue for a visit to Tate Modern, my favourite London building. There's no better time than a birthday to celebrate modern art.
Photo of Kitty taking a break from walking the caverns in the Tate Modern.