8 free kids activities not to miss at APT9


If you’re keen to enjoy a range of fun family-friendly activities to keep the kids occupied, then head to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art during ‘The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9).

APT9 Kids is the perfect way for kids of any age to embrace their creative side. Make your visit to QAGOMA a family day out — from the moment you enter, the eight free activities will excite your imagination and unleash your creativity.

The massive exhibition has taken over both QAG and GOMA until 28 April 2019 — so you can come back as many times as you want. Both Gallery’s feature interactive artworks, hands-on and multimedia activities created by exhibiting artists, especially for children and families in mind —  all activities offer a rich participatory experience providing meaningful insights into the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

With so many to choose from, we’ve listed the eight activities and where you can find them.

1. PAULINE KIMEI ANIS (Autonomous Region of Bougainville)

Pauline Kimei Anis is a jewellery maker. In Bougainville, men and women creatively transform shells into beads that are used in ceremonial practices. In The Arkono Project create a necklace using beads made from paper and coloured pencils. By making your own beads from paper, you can transform this expendable resource into something precious.

Where: Pelican Lounge, Watermall Level, Queensland Art Gallery

The Arkono Project by Pauline Kimei Anis

2. NONA GARCIA (the Philippines)

Nona Garcia probes into the essence of things. Illuminate invites you to form patterns and designs by rearranging a selection of X-ray images. These images of sea coral and animal bones symbolise the impermanent, and therefore precious nature of life. This concept is emphasised by the temporary nature of the activity, with designs continually reformed over the course of the day.

Where: Pelican Lounge, Watermall Level, Queensland Art Gallery

Illuminate by Nona Garcia


A painter from Indulkana in South Australia, Vincent Namatjira paints portraits of important historical figures, from his grandfather Albert Namatjira to international heads of state, and Australian politicians. He is an acute observer of the connections between leadership, wealth, power and influence. In Power Portraits, children who are usually deprived of any real power or influence, can place themselves within a virtual portrait and adopt ‘power icons’ such as crowns and hats inspired by the artist’s paintings.

Where: Pelican Lounge, Watermall Level, Queensland Art Gallery

Power Portraits by Vincent Namatjira


Sadik Kwaish Alfraji works with drawing, painting and video animation to explore ideas of memory and nostalgia based on personal experience. A boat to carry your dreams is inspired by a letter that Sadik Kwaish Alfraji received from his nephew Ali. The letter featured a drawing of a small canoe-like boat with the words ‘I wish my letter takes me to you’. Watch the artist’s animation Ali’s Boat and think about your wish, write or draw it on paper and fold into a boat to transport your dreams.

Read more about this work

Where: Park Level, Children’s Art Centre, Gallery of Modern Art

A boat to carry your dreams by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji

5. JOYCE HO (Taipei)

Joyce Ho’s works are unified by their striking aesthetic, which strips back unnecessary elements. The books inside the Un-Covered Library are covered in paper, hiding their titles and cover illustrations from view. Choose a book and find a place to sit in one of the small stage sets representing typical reading locations, such as a bed or on public transport. When finished reading, reflect on the story and give the book a new title and cover design before placing it on display for others to enjoy.

Where: Park Level, Children’s Art Centre, Gallery of Modern Art

Un-Covered Library by Joyce Ho


Jakkai Siributr is inspired by his mother’s passion for children’s literature. In The legend of the Rainbow Stag, the artist shares one of her stories, The Rainbow Stag which is brought to life in his animation. Create your own personalised version of the animation by embellishing a stag and scanning the image.

Where: Park Level, Children’s Art Centre, Gallery of Modern Art

The Rainbow Stag by Jakkai Siributr


Mauri is an immersive digital environment where projectors create an underwater world that reflects the sights and sounds of a fish trap. Interact with schools of animated fish that respond to movement and gather them into a trap projected onto the floor.

Where: Park Level, Children’s Art Centre, Gallery of Modern Art

Mauri by Tunguru: The Kiribati Project

8. GARY CARSLEY (Australia)

Inspired by R Godfrey Rivers’s painting Under the jacaranda painted in 1903 and in the Gallery’s Collection, Gary Carsley has created a ‘secret garden’ that is bursting with the iconic purple blooms of the jacaranda tree. Engage with the artist’s ideas through an animated video and touchscreen activity, all within a vibrant setting that’s perfect for a selfie.

Read more about this work

Where: Entry Level, Children’s Art Centre, Gallery of Modern Art

Purple Reign by Gary Carsley

5 Artworks to discover at APT9

Peter Robinson, Aotearoa New Zealand b.1966 / This place displaced 2018 / Mild steel pins, magnets and ferrox welding rods / © Peter Robinson / Courtesy: The artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland


Read more on APT9 / Subscribe to YouTube for behind-the-scenes video

APT9 publication

APT9 Kids is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation

APT9 has been assisted by our Founding Supporter Queensland Government and Principal Partner the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.
Jakkai Siributr has been supported byAustralian-ASEAN Council
The Tunguru: The Kiribati Project has been supported by Creative New Zealand.

Feature image: Mauri by Tunguru: The Kiribati Project