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Childrens exhibitions

Current and future | Travelling | Previous | Childrens

The Childrens Gallery is dedicated to exhibitions drawn from the national collection, aimed at maximising the enjoyment and enrichment of a visiting child's experience. These exhibitions encourage and challenge children to be engaged and stimulated by art, and are supported by a range of interactive activities. Entry to the Childrens Gallery is free.

Previous

Creating worlds

23 February 2013 – 4 August 2013 | Childrens gallery

An exhibition exploring artists’ responses to issues of sustainability, the natural environment and the interconnectedness of ecological systems.

Creating worlds will present a diverse selection of Australian and Indigenous art from the national collection including sculpture and mixed media, paintings, prints and photographic works. It aims to inspire audiences of all ages to take positive action for a sustainable future, and to excite and educate visitors about the creative possibilities for looking after and interacting with our environment. View more

Arthur Wicks Alchemist Dreaming: River = Water 2009 digital print National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, gift of the artist 2010


Word pictures

7 July 2012 – 10 February 2013 | Childrens gallery

A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. Since the early 20th century when Picasso and Braque made their radical breakthrough with Cubism, there has been a flourishing of modern and contemporary art produced with text at its core. Alphabets with their infinite potential for words; the visual form of letters; the art of printmaking with its origins in typography; and the artists' book are some of the themes explored in this exhibition.

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Brook Andrew, Wiradjuri people I see you 2005 (detail) Print, stencil National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of the artist, donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2012


Play

4 February - 24 June 2012 | Childrens gallery

Play embraces painting, photography, prints and sculpture from across the National Gallery of Australia’s remarkable collection. This exhibition reminds us of the importance of play in an artist’s practice, and in our lives.

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Richard Tipping Sing 2004 print Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund, 2008 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


Connections

16 October 2010 – 18 Sept 2011 | Childrens Gallery

 

Connections explores the rich conversations that can take place between works of art across cultures, place and time.

Islamic works of art are paired with others in the national art collection under themes such as calligraphy, geometry, colour and the garden. Visitors will discover the beauty and diversity of Islamic art and develop an understanding of its influence around the world.

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Iran Tile 17th century National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, bequest of William F Wells


Audrey Flack Jolie madame (Pretty woman) 1973 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 1978 © Audrey Flack
Shimmer

19 February – 19 September 2010 | Childrens Gallery

 

Shimmer examines the many ways artists have employed colour, pattern, line and materials to give their work a special energy in the eye of the viewer. Through a display of works from the national collection, this exhibition explores various interpretations of the power of patterns.

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Audrey Flack Jolie madame (Pretty woman) 1973 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 1978 © Audrey Flack


(detail) Patrick Collins Curtain call 2003 Ceramic, earthenware, tin-glazed

Silently stirring

21 March – 8 June 2009 | Childrens Gallery

 

Many artists are attracted to ideas of movement, change and transformation, and animals and beings (real and mystical) are favourite subjects when depicting these ideas in works of art.

Silently stirring explores these themes through prints, drawings, photography and sculpture from the national collection.

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Lionel Lindsay  Siesta  1924  wood-engraving National Gallery of Australia  Bequest of Alan Queale, 1982


Howard Arkley Floral exterior 1996 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2001 © The Estate of Howard Arkley

Home at last

13 Sep 2008 – 8 March 2009 | Childrens Gallery

Visit an exhibition that is just like home. Home at last features prints, drawings, photographs, paintings and decorative arts by Australian artists from the national collection. The exhibition links art making and the home and demonstrates that works of art are often inspired by the artist’s home environment. Picture my world is a collaborative project between the Gallery and early childhood educational centres in the Canberra region in response to the themes of home and sense of place in Home at last

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Howard Arkley  Floral exterior 1996   National Gallery of Australia, Canberra  Purchased 2001  © The Estate of Howard Arkley


(detail) Patrick Collins Curtain call 2003 Ceramic, earthenware, tin-glazed

Treescape

12 April – 30 August 2008 | Children's Gallery

An exhibition designed especially for children 3-8 years old in conjunction with Turner to Monet: the triumph of landscape.

Discover art works which are made from trees, are about trees or even things that live in trees. Treescape’s aim is to stimulate an appreciation of trees as a subject for interesting and exciting artworks.

See paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, sculpture, installations, furniture and more. Children can trace a tree to take home and have fun with a magnetic tree.

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Patrick Collins Curtain call 2003 (detail) ceramic, earthenware, tin-glazed National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


John Brack 'Study for the painting and the lithograph 'Junior Latin American' [Sketch for 'Junior Latin American']' 1969conte crayon, pencil image Collection of the National Gallery of Australia © Helen Brack

Drawn in

14 July 2007 – 30 March 2008 | Children's Gallery

By looking closely at drawings we can get a powerful insight into the thoughts, ideas and processes that artists explore in their works.

Beginning with the drawings of George Lambert, Drawn in explores some of the ways in which artists use drawing. George Lambert was a master draughtsman, who captured the changing world around him through his pencil impressions and explored new artistic ideas. This exhibition aims to show the way drawing can make thinking visible.

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John Brack 'Study for the painting and the lithograph 'Junior Latin American' [Sketch for 'Junior Latin American']' 1969 conte crayon, pencil image Collection of the National Gallery of Australia © Helen Brack


John Brack 'Third daughter' 1954 print, intaglio Collection of the National Gallery of Australia © Helen Brack

Tools & Techniques

of printmaking

14 April – 1 July 2007 | Children's Gallery

 

Designed to support The story of Australian printmaking 1801–2005, this exhibition displays materials and tools used by artists to create a variety of prints. Etchings, relief prints, lithographs and screenprints selected from the Australian print collection are exhibited with relevant tools and materials. Informative wall texts, extended labels and videos describe the processes explored by printmakers today and in the past.
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John Brack 'Third daughter' 1954 print, intaglio Collection of the National Gallery of Australia © Helen Brack


detail: SINU culture Pre-Columbian Finial, in the form of a bird, once part of a ceremonial staff (c.600-1200AD) Sinu River Basin / Colombia

Creeping through the jungle

9 December 2006 – 1 April 2007  | Children’s Gallery free exhibition

Journey back in time to explore the jungles of Australia, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. From a modern Australian artist’s views of the Queensland rainforest to an ancient Mayan ceramic jaguar, the Children’s Gallery comes alive with the flora and fauna of the tropics. Tropical rainforests contain between 50 and 90 percent of the world’s plant and animal species, yet many of these are under grave threat of extinction as a direct result of human activity. Children are encouraged to learn about the animal, bird, insect and plant life of tropical rainforest habitats and to think about their own place in the world and the environment.
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detail: Sinu culture, Columbia ‘Finial in the form of a bird’ (c. 600-1200) gold. Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Abracadabra Conservation reveals the magic in art

Abracadabra

the magic in conservation

28 July – 26 November 2006  | Children’s Gallery free exhibition

The crafted object will draw from the Gallery’s Abracadabra will be an overview of conservation techniques that reveal the mysteries hidden in works of art. Children will be able to use ultra violet light, magnification, X-ray games and computer technology to see invisible drawing in paintings, discover hidden repairs in ceramics and to see the internal structures of costumes and puppets.

View moreConservation

image detail: X-ray of Sandwich man highlighting areas held together with tacks. Alexandra Exter  Sandwich man [L’homme sandwich]  1926 watercolour and collage on cardboard with wood, cotton, string, book cloth, copper, sequins, steel tacks, bridge nails, steel wire and eyelets Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


detail: James Fardoulys 'The Channel Country no.3' 1965, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Come rain or shine

24 March – 12 June 2006 | Children's gallery

Working from the familiar idea of weather, which we all experience everyday, to the unexpected and dramatic, Come rain or shine will feature works of art from Pre-Columbian ceramic figures to Video Art.

The exhibition will include many references to the paintings of weather conditions, from storms to sun, that children can observe when viewing the exhibition. View more

Shine

image detail: James Fardoulys 'The Channel Country no.3' 1965, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Timothy Akis 'not titled [bird]' 1974 screenprint, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Ulli and Georgina Beier Collection

Imagining

Papua New Guinea

8 October 2005 – 12 March 2006

After generations of colonial rule, the free nation of Papua New Guinea was established in 1975. This exhibition celebrates 30 years of independence. Stories and images, both traditional and imaginary, are recorded in pen, pencil, woodcuts and screenprints – all new forms of expression to artists from the region. These prints and drawings, produced in the years around independence, show three ways in which Papua Nuginian artists responded to their contemporary world.

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Timothy Akis 'not titled [bird]' 1974 screenprint, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Ulli and Georgina Beier Collection


image: Loudon Sainthill, Costume design for an attendant from 'The Man Who Loved Redheads' c.1954 pencil and gouache on paper Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Stage fright :

the art of theatre

3 March – 12 June 2006 | Children's gallery

Stage fright showcases works on paper and costumes from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection of Australian Theatre Arts. Stage fright will lead young children and their families on a voyage of discovery through mythology, fairytales, visionary worlds and fantasy characters through designs destined for the ballet, opera and the theatre stage.

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detail: Loudon Sainthill 'Costume design for an attendant from The Man Who Loved Redheads' c.1954 pencil and gouache on paper Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Craig Walsh, David Thomasson, Steven Thomasson [GODLAB]

futurePlay

from the House of Tomorrow

19 March – 29 May 2005 | Children’s Gallery

futurePlay transforms the Children’s Gallery into an ultramodern playroom of the future.

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Craig Walsh, David Thomasson, Steven Thomasson [GODLAB] Keith [RP11-345A12] 2003


Image detail: Richard Bosman Drowning man 1983 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Big spooks

2 October 2004 – 6 March 2005

This exhibition exploits the dramatic qualities of big, bold – and scary – paintings. Drawn from the collection of Australian and International art, Big spooks features large neo-expressionist and surrealist-inspired paintings that will thrill and engage young viewers. Dare to enter the Children’s Gallery and see Big spooks!

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Detail: Richard Bosman 'Drowning man' 1983 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Image detail: Joan Nancy Stokes The Black and White Ringers 2002 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

From little things big things grow

Gather round people I’ll tell you a story

12 June – 19 September  2004

This Children's Gallery exhibition features colourful, engaging works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists. The title is from Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody’s song about Indigenous Land Rights, and many of the works are imbued with a strong sense of story drawn from the artists’ own experiences of living and working on the land.

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Detail: Joan Nancy Stokes 'The Black and White Ringers' 2002  Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Image detail: George W Lambert Portrait Group 1908 oil on canvas Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1967

Making pictures

13 March – 30 May 2004

Visit a recreated artist’s studio from the turn of the century in Making pictures, an exhibition for the Children’s Gallery. Designed to complement The Edwardians: Secrets and Desires, Making Pictures includes works by George Lambert, Hugh Ramsay, Thea Proctor and Rupert Bunny who were working in Europe during the Edwardian era. The exhibition also includes the original easel and paintbox belonging to Hugh Ramsay and facsimile editions of the artists’ sketch books. Children are invited to create their own self portrait and explore the display through other interactive activities.

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Detail: George W Lambert 'Portrait Group' 1908 oil on canvas Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1967


'Hard edge' logo abstract graphic derived from National Gallery of Australia architecture

Hard edge

Geometry in design

15 November 2003 – 11 January 2004

Hard edge: geometry in design, shows how geometry has been used by designers and makers of furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewellery, textiles and costume since the advent of the Modern movement of the late 19th century to the present. It draws from the Gallery’s extensive collection of Australian and international craft and design and has been selected to stimulate younger visitors, offering insights into the ways that designers have used geometry to extend their ideas and to link their work to the wider worlds of architecture and science.

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Image: 'Hard edge' logo abstract graphic derived from National Gallery of Australia architecture


Image detail: Rosemary Laing, Flight research #6 1999, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Jump!

Photographers get off the ground

23 August – 2 November 2003

Bouncing on a trampoline, speeding through the air on a snowboard, jumping off the highest platform at the pool, riding the waves, diving out of a plane, bungee-jumping into a ravine: the thrill and appeal of being free from gravity and in a state far from an everyday earth-bound one is undeniable. So too have many photographers been fascinated with working out how to best capture on film the body hurtling through space. This exhibition explores this preoccupation through the work of International and Australian photographers from the 1880s to the present.

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Detail: Rosemary Laing 'Flight research #6' 1999 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Image detail: James Fardoulys Shearing the champions at Tinnemburrar 1973 Collection of the National Gallery The Estate of James N Fardoulys

In the box

28 March – 10 August 2003

In the box is an activity-based exhibition linking touch and sight – designed to engage young visitors with art by introducing them to a range of paintings from the Gallery's Australian art collection. Ten paintings about people have been selected for their strong narrative and rich detail. A chronological range of styles is displayed, conveying the idea of change in artmaking practice. An object represented in each painting is hidden inside a box. Children are asked to guess what the object is by making a connection between details in the painting and what they feel in the box. Questions and a trail provide additional clues and levels of interaction.

Detail: James Fardoulys 'Shearing the champions at Tinnemburrar' 1973 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia The Estate of James N Fardoulys


Image detail: Artist unknown Yoruba people, Nigeria Ade: beaded crown early 20th century textile, glass beads

Royal Africa

Kings and Chiefs

3 August 2002 – 12 January 2003

Royal Africa: Kings and Chiefs will be shown in the Children's Gallery.

It will be drawn from the Gallery's collection, evoking the splendour and diversity of royal courts in West and Central Africa over 600 years. It will highlight commercial, military and artistic connections between Europe and Africa long before the colonial period.

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Detail: Artist unknown Yoruba people, Nigeria Ade: beaded crown early 20th century Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Detail: Guardian Figure [lokapala] Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Gift of Dr. T.T.Tsui LLD, JP

Life in the Emperor's Tomb

Ceramics from ancient China

23 February – 21 July 2002

From elegant storage vessels through to magnificent images of horses and camels, Life in the Emperor's Tomb recaptures the spirit of past worlds through one of the most traditional artistic mediums. This exhibition of ceramics date from the prehistoric period (c.2500 BC) through to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

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Detail: 'Guardian Figure' [lokapala] Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Gift of Dr. T.T.Tsui LLD JP


Image detail: Infra-red image of detail from Augustus Earle A bivouac of travellers in Australia in a cabbage tree forest, daybreak oil on canvas Rex Nan Kivell collection, National Library of Australia

Seeing Red

The art and science of infra-red analysis

17 November 2001 – 10 February 2002

Have you ever wanted to look through the layers of a painting to the underdrawing first put down by the artist? The examination of works of art using infra-red light can reveal hidden features such as underdrawing and composition changes, aspects of the creation of a work of art that may not be visible in normal light. This technique is used by conservators to gather information about artists’ materials and techniques. Seeing Red provides a unique opportunity for children to get behind the scenes and envisage art in the making.

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Detail: Infra-red image of detail from Augustus Earle 'A bivouac of travellers in Australia in a cabbage tree forest, daybreak' oil on canvas Rex Nan Kivell collection, National Library of Australia


Detail: Unknown 'Animal, person, house' Vienna Frances Derham Collection National Gallery of Australia
Childhoods Past

Children's art of the twentieth century

7 Apr – 15 July 2001

Childhoods Past features approximately 80 children’s drawings and paintings collected by Frances Derham (1894 –1987), artist and educational pioneer. The images portray personal and cultural identity, family and school life, social and political events by children from indigenous Australian communities, urban and regional Australia, Europe and former Australian territories New Britain and Papua New Guinea.

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detail: Unknown 'Animal, person, house' Vienna Frances Derham Collection National Gallery of Australia


Detail: Greg Bell Every man Searching 1985 Collection of the National Gallery of AustraliaDetail: Greg Bell Every man Searching 1985 Collection of the National Gallery of AustraliaDetail: Greg Bell Every man Searching 1985 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Lost in Space

12 August 2000 – 25 March 2001

The children's exhibition Lost in Space is a world of cosmic shapes, flying cars, martians, twinkling stars, astronauts, space monsters, sparkling comets, lunar landscapes and the infinite blackness of space. Artists take up their paint, pencils, paper, prints, film, camera, metal and clay to give shape to their vision of space. Visit the interactive Lost in Space and links to other related sites. Meet the challenge of the children's trail and enjoy the wonder of Space.

View moreDetail: Greg Bell 'Every man Searching' 1985 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Image Detail: Frank Hurley Child and Puppy 1914 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

DOG

2 October 1999 – 9 April 2000

DOG creates an opportunity to reflect on "man's best friend" and offers children a means to enjoy an exhibition experience showing pet dogs in the backyard, sled dogs in the Antarctic, hunting hounds and Australia's native dog – the dingo.

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Detail: Frank Hurley 'Child and Puppy' 1914 Collection of the National Gallery of Australia


Detail: Paula Dawson There's No Place Like Home 1979-80 Collection of the artist

Paula Dawson

There's no place like home

13 March – 9 May 1999

In the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy returns from the illusionary world of Oz to the safety and familiarity of her home in Kansas by clicking the heels of her ruby red slippers and chanting the mantra: 'There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home' .Paula Dawson's work of the same name, There's no place like home (1979–80), a holographic representation of a living room in an installation of a suburban house, plays with the notion of representation in a similar way. There's no place like home blurs the boundaries between illusion and reality, just as Dorothy's trip down the Yellow Brick Road happily melded the world of dreams and the people of real life into a Technicolour land of magic.

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Detail: Paula Dawson 'There's No Place Like Home' 1979-80 Collection of the artist


Image: abstract graphic of hotshots logo

hotshots

3 October 1998 – 31 January 1998

In September 1998 the National Gallery of Australia supplied school students throughout Australia with single-use Kodak cameras and asked them to capture the unique qualities of their communities.

The result is Hotshots, an exploration of Australia's diversity, its people and its land, seen through the eyes of young people.