I wasn’t sure whether Ava would enjoy it but was reassured when we walked into the first room of the exhibit. As soon as she saw the clever little (puffin-like) bird sculptures, she asked me to take photos of them (so she could look at them again later).
Ava ran ahead and found a large room with an interactive installation. Hundreds of small plastic letters covered the floor and you could spell out messages with them, either on the floor or on the circular yellow steps surrounding them. There were other kids in the room and they were having fun constructing towers with the letters.
Straight away Ava started collecting the letters from her name and she proudly spelled out ‘Ava, Dad and Mum’ (how cute!). As it was a girls’ day out (Dad was at home cleaning out the shed) we decided to send him a photo with letters that spelled out ‘love u Dad’. This space was such a brilliant idea for big and small kids, we could have sat there all day spelling out fun messages and taking photos. It was also nice to see messages from other families who had spent time in there before us.
I heard the faint sound of typewriters coming from the next room so we went to check it out. We found another interactive area called ‘Small Press’ with several tables set up, each with a typewriter and self-inking stamps. We were encouraged to create a small publication by folding and cutting an A3 piece of paper into the shape of a little book. You could type up your own manifesto and use the stamps to form part of the commentary/story. This was Ava’s favourite part and we spent ages stamping, folding and tapping away on the typewriter.
I’m so glad Ava enjoyed it and I think I might go back and take my Mum along too. Next on my list, I’m planning to take Ava to the (Fashion World of) Jean Paul Gaultier and Romance Was Born for Kids shows at the NGV on St Kilda Road. I’ve heard very good things about both, so stay tuned for another gallery visit post.
The exhibition covers a wide range of Emily Floyd’s works from 2001-2014 with the two interactive spaces targeted to kids. It runs right through until the start of March so there’s plenty of time to get there. It’s the perfect outing for the Christmas holidays and best of all entry is free.
Federation Square, Cnr Russell and Flinders Streets, Melbourne