NGV International has an amazing special exhibition for kids of all ages until the 22 March 2015.  It’s been created by the dynamic duo, Anna Plunkett & Luke Sales, behind Sydney fashion label – Romance Was Born.  Their style philosophy is “more is more” and with that in mind they’ve created a flowing four-room wonderland filled with their fondest childhood memories and fun-filled, interactive activities where “nothing is taboo”.

 

To find the exhibition you turn right before you reach Carsten Holler’s glorious Gold Mirror Carousel and about 150 metres down the corridor, you’re greeted with a multitude of large shimmering sequins.  It’s the start of a very special experience which just gets better and better…

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TOMB ROOM 
This darkly themed room is actually quite intriguing.  It features clothing from Romance Was Born’s The Oracle 2011/2012 collection and depicts the tale of an old pharaoh queen.  She’s a pretty kooky chick with purple hair who chose to take to the grave a pair of pink sunnies and her trusty fluorescent drum sticks.  Alongside her uber chic wardrobe is a whole bevy of wigs & accessories to keep her wardrobe en pointe forever more…  It kind of explains why even Jean Paul Gaultier was impressed with this creative exhibit.

 

 

MAKE & DO
This room is highly interactive and it’s where kids are free to create either a necklace or a beard.  They choose their template, their shimmering ribbon, and then are free to collect a selection of googly eyes and gems to create their own unique look.  Our son absolutely loved it and was pretty chuffed when he got some pretty impressed comments on his masterpiece afterwards whilst he feasted on miniature cakes in NGV’s ground floor cafe, and later traipsed back down St Kilda Road to return to our car.

 

 

BUSH MAGIC INSTALLATION 
The gang’s all here.  This installation has billabongs for the children to jump across, rainbow fish, kookaburras, the mythical Bunyip, May Gibbs’ Snugglepot & Cuddlepie, Mem Fox’s Possum Magic, and loads more of my childhood memories thrown into the mix.  It’s a walk down memory lane.  I only wish I knew where they sourced their white rock stools from.  So comfy!

 

 

RAINBOW LAND 
This is, of course, the enchanted kingdom at the elusive end of the rainbow.  It’s possibly better than a pot of gold because amongst the jars of Vegemite, Cabbage Patch dolls and other childhood memorabilia, are a whole bunch of new age drawing tablets.  The multimedia activity is highly intuitive such that children can create gorgeous drawings completely on their own.  They needn’t be created just to be deleted – there’s an option at the end of the process where their drawing can be emailed home to loved ones.  Admittedly though, one month later, we’re still awaiting the arrival of our son’s masterpieces – perhaps a little hiccough in the day’s electronic transmission.

All in all, we had a wonderful time at Express Yourself.  Plunkett & Sales have done a marvellous job in creating such a wonderful experience for children and adults alike.  We spent over an hour there and our son kept talking about his experience the whole weekend – which essentially means that our 3-year-old son had an absolute blast!  We highly recommend this free exhibition.

EXPRESS YOURSELF: ROMANCE WAS BORN FOR KIDS
NGV International
Ground Floor
180 St Kilda Road
Melbourne  VIC  3000

Open daily 10 – 5 pm
Free exhibit

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