Things change. And the 10-storey ziggurat in bronzed-brick lattice now resting on top of underground oil tanks along the Thames is the newest expansion of Tate Modern, the most visited contemporary art museum in Europe. The slogan for the new extension, named the Switch House, is “Art changes, we change” and oh boy is the Tate shaking things up…

Over half of the artists on show in the new permanent collection are women, a move that seeks to redress the historical imbalance in the Tate’s collection (in total, only 7% of the Tate’s acquisitions are by woman artists). So, while dipping in and out of various rooms stretched over four floors – organised thematically to correspond with a parallel rehanging in the “old” Tate Modern – we found ourselves drooling over a wide range of masterpieces by women: from gargantuan and surreal Romanian haystacks by Ana Lupas to Daria Martin’s iconic art-film Birds.  

We particularly loved the space devoted to Women and Work; a piece created in the 1970s by Margaret Harrison, Kay Hunt and Mary Kelly with every nook and cranny replete with journals, images, and films confronting issues surrounding women in the working world. We also loved Rebecca Horn’s unnerving body sculptures featuring black wings and red bandages and Marina Abramovic’s table of 72 items comprising of a cherry-red lipstick, a shiny green apple, and her old polaroids. But Suzanne Lacy’s The Crystal Quilt takes pride of place, the gallery documents the artist and 300 older-women’s quilting performance in the 1980s.

To finish of the strong-female presence, the “Artist Rooms” section of the gallery (a space specifically designed to reflect the working spaces and processes of the featured artist) was dedicated to Louise Bourgeois. Her iconic spider installation stands in the middle of the luminescent gallery; the piece alluding to the protective strength of her mother. We loved gazing up at the suspended sculptures, made from Bourgeois’ iconic stitching, as they whirled and twirled.

After four floors of girl power, we climbed (or rather, took the lift) to the viewing balcony at the top of the tower (accessible free-of-charge for visitors) to be welcomed by a panoramic view of London. It’s the pièce de résistance.

For more information visit the Tate website.