Summer gallery activities with children in Melbourne

Posted on January 22, 2015

It is holiday season, so we have been working the free activities across Melbourne’s galleries. We were mightily disappointed by ACCA’s summer Menagerie exhibition. Even the kids seemed turned off by the messy and random curation and the afterthought of a table with plastic toys in the foyer was insulting. The activity trail was totally dull too. Total fail for art lovers big and small. At ACMI we took in a Chinese paper animation workshop in association with the Yang Fudong films in the main gallery. This was manfully supported by a long-suffering animator who seemed rather nervous of the children, but the boys were rather bemused by the limited range of materials to stimulate their input and the whole thing fell rather flat. Thankfully there is always NGV, which if anything, is now privileging small people over large, with everything accessible and interpreted for minor minds. Whilst the Shrigley show had a warning about some of the dark and sexual content, it was by far and away our favourite, (I’m a long-term fan, but the boys loved the brutality of some of his drawings and the sheer fun in the installation. ) We did the life drawing and I was put to shame by the speed with which the boys captured the sense of the oversized nude mannikin while I laboured over detail. We enjoyed Emily Floyd again, although Heide’s recent Floyd expo was somehow more rich in meaning. Mambo was closed on our recent visit but we will go back when the circus of the dedicated Children’s Festival has left town. Even for small people, too many small people can get in the way.

Posted in: Visual Art