We spent the day today with a lovely friend and her 2 young children, and although exhausting and the children getting a little frazzled at times, great fun was had by all. We went along to the Nottingham Contemporary to take part in their half term activities for families. I have been on a couple of other occasions with Bean and Flump for their weekend activities and they have always gone down well.
When you arrive you are encouraged to explore the exhibitions in the Galleries and there are some great interactive resources to help the kids get thinking about what they are seeing and hearing. This is with the view that what they experience through the exhibitions, will help provide inspiration for what they do in the art activities. The Exhibition today was a showcase of Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s instillations and sculptures. They are often props and costumes from performances that are then utilised in exhibitions. The exhibition was hosted by Cousin Itt, whom we had the pleasure of meeting today. I have to admit the children were a little freaked out when he first approached us, but with time and a little distance they soon warmed to him and he added a great extra dynamic to the artwork on display. The older kids were especially intrigued and drawn in by the Diorama’s and really enjoyed discussing what they were seeing and it was great to hear their own interpretation of the scenes.
After the exhibition we entered The Space where we were encouraged to make our own diorama’s, the kiddies deciding to split into two groups…the younger ones and older ones. It was great to get involved with them and help bring their thoughts and ideas to life using recycled materials. They both went for a seafaring theme, the older girls deciding to do a beach scene and the younger ones, after initial thoughts of rockets and space ships, settled on a pirate ship. Once completed they are encouraged to add light and sound effects which they thoroughly enjoyed.
It has been a great experience and the staff were incredibly friendly and interacted brilliantly with the kids. I love the way in which children are encouraged to explore art and for it to become an accessible part of their life. It also provide us with inspiration for activities we can do at home. We will certainly be coming back to the contemporary as a family, next time we will try the explorer bags, and they have some brilliant family weekend activities in March based around the above exhibitions theme.