Today, we went to the Qld Gallery of Modern Art. Also known as the GOMA. It's a fab place. Last time we went right in the middle of the 2011 January holidays, and it was ultra kid friendly, you could walk through a room full of purple balloons, sit and create at a 50 foot long table stacked with white lego pieces and travel from the second floor to ground via tube slides.
As the school holidays finished here yesterday it wasn't quite so exciting this time, but it was still pretty cool. Down in the Kids Centre, we were able to create our own bird out of construction paper and cardboard. I threw myself into the project with gay abandon, first by helping Issy make a tail for her bird, and then abandoning all pretence of helping and making my own, beautiful bird called the Mummy Bird. There was an information card you could write and tie to your creation.
Name: Mummy Bird
Features: Layered clothing, designed for maximum warmth combined with maximum hiding of trouble spots.
Call: Usually sweet and melodious, very unpleasant and raucous when angry.
Eats: Chocolate and red wine. Or cheese, crackers and champagne.
Creators could choose to leave their bird behind as part of a display, or take it home, to become part of the endless gallery of 'paper recycling' as soon as you weren't looking.
I chose to leave the Mummy Bird behind, for posterity (whatever that is).
Cue an industrial strength tantrum by Joshie, because Sarah wanted to leave her bird behind with mine, and he wanted hers to come with us so his wouldn't, and I quote, 'be lonely'.
In the end, all three kids decided to take theirs home (thanks Sarah the eternal peacemaker), and Issy promptly left the bag containing them at the next display, never to be seen again. This did not cause anyone to melt down, at all. Because, and I quote again, 'whatever happens to them, they're all together'.
My favourite display in the gallery was a wall of family photos, taken in the style of the old Madonna and Child paintings from the Italian Renaissance, with an adored child being the centre of each shot. They were real photos of real families, all of whom had required assistance in conceiving, IVF or similar. The kids ran up and down, shouting, here's two Daddy's, here's two Mummy's, here's a Mummy on her own, here's a Mummy and a Daddy! They loved seeing the different types of families and they loved the love which radiated from each picture. Talk about uplifting.
Our final stop was in a room that spat out two coloured bits of paper every minute from a printer mounted on the ceiling. Result, loads of kids trying to catch the paper, and lots of bets on what colours were next. Art? I'm not so sure. But what does a Mummy Bird know anyway?