Just a few days out from Earth Day, I thought i’d share our recent experience at a relevant exhibition, currently on at the National Gallery of Victoria until 8 October 2017. This is a free exhibition and well worth a visit – we’ll definitely be going back!
Fiona Hall‘s latest interactive exhibition for kids and teens, “Uneasy Seasons” provides an opportunity for children to explore environmental themes and engage in nature-inspired craft activities. The exhibition is made up of two large-scale tree-houses – a brightly lit, summer-themed one intended for younger children and a darker, scarier one for teenagers. Nestled beneath both the craftwood treescapes are individual desk spaces set up for visitors to create their own paper collage.
In the children’s installation, they are invited to answer the question “Who lives here?” by making their own creature and habitat using templates and paper.
In the teenagers’ space, which is surrounded by stars, skulls and spooky lighting, visitors are invited to create their own emoji to express how they feel. This is Hall’s way of encouraging teens to communicate their emotions and to think about symbols. While this level of thinking was way beyond our little culture vulture, the idea can be adapted to children of any age, as long as they’re not frightened by the skeletons!
In addition to the crafting activities kids can get involved in, the exhibition has a number of other attractions and curiosity triggers, including wooden drawers lined with digital animations and video screens embedded in various sized holes along the walls. I love the way Fiona Hall turned her passion for the natural world into a fun and experiential learning opportunity, allowing kids to explore and think about the environment in their own unique way.
For those who can’t make this exhibition, the collage activity is simple and can easily be set up at home – you just need scissors, glue and paper! I find magazines and leftover wrapping paper great for collaging. We’ve certainly been inspired to explore more nature-themed art and craft, so stay tuned for some fun Earth Day projects this week!