The Out of the Box festival returns to the Cultural Precinct this week. We outline some of the activities children and families can look forward to, including the Gallery’s ‘Pattern Bandits‘ exhibition.
The biennial Out of the Box festival for children returns to its hub at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), and extends across the Cultural Precinct. The festival brings to life an exciting array of arts events that Festival Director Brendan Ross says aims to ‘celebrate and support learning, play, curiosity and discovery’ for children aged eight and under, their families and teachers. This year’s program, based on the theme ‘human, animal, monster, friend’, explores interactions between children and living creatures, both real and imaginary. The festival will run from 25 June until 2 July, making the most of the school term and holiday dates and encouraging families and teachers to visit with their children and students.
This year during Out of the Box, we will be highlighting the Collection and Children’s Art Centre exhibitions through specially developed programming. As well as participating in the Jemima Wyman ‘Pattern Bandits’ exhibition at GOMA, children can enjoy films selected by the artist especially for the festival, and a colourful interactive children’s publication available in-store and online from the QAGOMA Store. Also on offer is the Gallery’s popular Toddler Tuesday program, which will draw connections between the Collection and the Out of the Box festival theme.
‘Pattern Bandits’ is an interactive exhibition that invites children to engage with the interests of Los Angeles-based Australian artist Jemima Wyman, namely the relationships between pattern, people and architecture. Children can enter the brightly coloured and highly patterned world of the artist and explore different patterns, from kaleidoscopes and tessellations to camouflage and harlequin, and participate in hands-on and multimedia and activities.
‘Pattern Bandits’ captures the way patterns can express who we are, where we live, and transform our view of the world. The exhibition includes two original artwork commissions: Aggregate Icon (Kaleidoscopic Catchment) 2014, a mandala-like kaleidoscopic collage measuring two metres in diameter and comprising small photographic portraits of tie-dye clad characters; and the film Pattern Power Moves 2014. In the film, colorful and sometimes not-quite-human characters invite children to copy their dance moves, introducing them to a new way of embodying pattern. In keeping with the Out of the Box theme, these characters invite children to see and engage with their world in new ways.
Jemima Wyman has selected two Australian films to be screened at GOMA on Tuesday 1 July as part of the festival, exploring the relationships children form with real and imaginary creatures. The short animated film The Lost Thing 2010 (based on the celebrated picture book by award-winning author and illustrator Shaun Tan) introduces children to an unlikely friendship between a boy and a strange-looking creature, while in Grendel Grendel Grendel 1980, a lonesome monster ponders the foolishness of humans, whom he eats from time to time.
Our toddler program during Out of the Box will focus on The Blue Alice 1956–57, a work from the important first series of paintings by Australian artist Charles Blackman and inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1872). Children can explore the adventures, comical logic and topsy-turvy world inhabited by Alice and her friends as they engage in making and performance activities in response to the painting. Special additional sessions will be held during the festival on Monday 30 June at QAG.
Also during the festival, and throughout the ‘Pattern Bandits’ exhibition period, children and families visiting the GOMA Cafe Bistro can enjoy some ‘Hunza pie balls’, a playful adaptation of Jemima Wyman’s favourite childhood dish, ‘hunza pie’, created by QAGOMA Executive Chef Josue Lopez.
We look forward to seeing children unleash their monster-sized appetites for art and culture across the Cultural Precinct during Out of the Box.
To find out more about this year’s program, and for booking details visit the Out of the box festival website.
‘Jemima Wyman: Pattern Bandits’ is supported by Ikea.