Even thought it is actually raining in Melbourne today and far from typical Summer weather (don’t hate us Sydney-siders) it IS still summer which means it is time for the Kids Summer Festival at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The two things that Melbourne certainly does well and that I have loved since moving south is that Melbourne knows coffee and Melbourne Knows Art.
Since moving to Melbourne we have visited the NGV more times than I can count and seen some wonderful exhibitions. Best of all the NGV really foster an appreciation for art in children by supporting parents in exposing their children to the arts and making the kids exhibits free. Thank you NGV. I will admit that I would occasionally prefer to view an exhibit peacefully on my own, however I can see the value in exposing my children to Art and so we go as a family.
The Car Wash
Installation art is generally pretty family friendly and the Car Wash installation at the rear of the gallery was a great starting point for cooling off after walking across the city to the NGV. It is actually the 2016 NGV Architecture Commission which is an annual competition to make the space come alive. Our kids certainly were activated by the car wash.
After cooling off in the car wash the kids checked out the mirror installation which has a labryinth like feel in the main foyer and the amazing ceiling artwork.
The current exhibit which is on a the NGV for families is the Viktor and Rolf Fashion Artists Exhibit. I expected it to be amazing but not necessarily engaging for our 4 year old. He was mesmorised and could describe the dresses in details. Hubby announced it one of the best exhibits he has seen.
Viktor and Rolf are avant-garde designers from the Netherlands. This collection shows off some of their most show stopping works. Initially the works of this pair were shown in galleries as their work blurred the line between fashion and art. It took some successful shows in Paris before their ‘ready to wear’ pieces became popular.
On entering the gallery the first thing you see is their well known collection Russian Doll which they became famous for. The model appeared wearing the first piece until each layer was added and she was wearing the final creation and 70kgs of material.
Purple Prose and the No garment were also huge hits with the kids. In addition to the fashion garments Viktor and Rolf also design and create a doll for each collection which Raya loved looking at.
In the second room were the Ready to Wear items which made the kids laugh. Raffy loved Bedtime Story and Flowerbomb with the motorcycle helmets.
You may be familiar with the divine scent Flowerbomb, their weapon of mass seduction. The collection had signature bows and frills and the black pieces were balanced with the positivity of the pink hued clothes.
Raya asked for that wallpaper for her bedroom. I would take some too. How amazing is this tapestry.
The items which made up Wearable Art were my favourite and I think are perfect for an Art Teacher.
Raya’s clear favourite was Cutting Edge Couture and I enjoyed watching her laughing at the names of pieces such as Chainsaw Massacre.
I honestly expected to see hubby and my son make an early exit from the exhibit. In fact the kids were so engaged I was ready to leave first and we spent more time in the adult exhibit than the kids Atelier.
The kids atelier section encourages kids to engage with design through media and also hands on activities. We arrived in the last hour of the day and the place was still packed. I will admit the staff looked a little harried but were very encouraging of kids seeking help with their design masterpieces.
Incorporating the designers love of all things white kids are given white materials and are encouraged to create using folds and layering. There are no pins or sticky tape to be found. Both of my kids jumped into the task. Raffy went straight for superhero cuffs while Ray worked on her millinery skills.
Once the designs are made the kids can chose a diaroma like scene to be photographed in. As you can see both of my children are very shy when it comes to being photographed.
I think they must get it from their dad (I’m safe he never reads this blog!)
During the Kids Summer Festival at the NGV the gallery is offering additional workshops on top of the amazing offerings we experienced. It is very popular so make sure to book on their website first.
If you love fashion but want to expose your kids to a bit of culture while having a great time then I highly recommend checking out the NGV with the kids.