Express Yourself: Romance Was Born For Kids is the newest Children’s Gallery commission at the National Gallery of Victoria – but it’s not just for kids. There is plenty of exhibition within the space to entertain and interest adults too and it makes the perfect stopover after the fashion extravaganza of the NGV’s Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition.
Fashion designers Romance Was Born have turned the gallery space into a crazy kaleidoscope of colour which typifies the work of fashion mavericks Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett.
An array of colourful sequins frames the entrance before you enter into a several rooms. Each room contains a jaw-dropping fantastical environment that will stimulate, engage and provide lots of opportunity for creative play.
The first room is the ‘Rainbow Room’, an immersive space which encourages children to engage with rainbow-coloured objects in glass cases and then design their own rainbow using the touchscreens.
The end of the Rainbow Room takes you to my favourite room, the ‘Bush Magic’ room. The walls are decorated in a fantastical imagining of a bush setting while digital rock pools allow you to ‘swim’ with colourful fish and mysterious sea creatures.
Then you move into the ‘Make and Do’ room where you can decorate and make a beard or a necklace by attaching sequins, pom poms and googly eyes onto various colourful templates. I spotted several adults sporting these decorative pieces around the gallery during my visit!
Throughout the space some of the design duo’s richly imaginative work is on display, from gowns to shoes to accessories, as well as photographs and video.
Express Yourself: Romance Was Born For Kids is bold, eccentric and really, really fun. Kids will love all the opportunities to play and create while adults will appreciate the way art and fashion come together in the various installations.