Art Scene Investigation = An Alive Imagination (at the National Gallery of Australia)

This morning , I drove an excited, though slightly hesitant 9 yr old to the National Gallery of Australia for his very first Art Scene Investigation. Detective Inspector Cleverpants and Officer Angelheart were waiting for us in the foyer.

After the 9 yr old and several other very keen young investigators had been suitable decked out for investigation….

DSC_5120

DSC_5122

 

… the Senior Detective and Officer gathered us around in a huddle.

DSC_5131

 

There has actually been an absence of mysteries at present in the Gallery, they told us, so plans have changed. Let’s go to James O Fairfax theatre to relax and watch a feature instead.

DSC_5136

 

We were slightly disappointed but everyone obediently traipsed along behind our fearless leaders.

DSC_5142

 

After we crept down to sit at the front of the darkened theatre however, a spotlight came on, revealing a bundle of white material in the middle of the stage

DSC_5148

 

along with a mysterious note: ‘Break a leg.’

DSC_5169

 

What did this all mean? Mystery was suddenly afoot (see what I did there?)!
A video message came up on the detective’s iPad. This message, from the shadowy-yet-helpful Inside Man, told us that we had all the clues right here in the Gallery to solve the mystery.

DSC_5237

 

Before setting off the children enjoyed duplicating a crime scene, using paint to create their own blood spatter effect.

DSC_5164

 

DSC_5175

DSC_5177

DSC_5184

Then the group of VERY eager investigators were let loose in the gallery.
We stopped at 3 very different paintings of actress Sarah Bernhardt by Alphonse Mucha which prompte discussion about how to conceal an identity, how actors can conceal their identity with costumes and how acting itself also disguises identity.

DSC_5199

 

We noticed that the artist Rene Magritte concealed the faces of his subjects entirely in Les Amants (The Lovers )
This artist wanted to create art that made his audience ask ‘what does this mean’. And his answer to them was ‘It means nothing’.
Rene’s style was rejected and he became a forger.

DSC_5222
The Investigators took a few minutes to practise the fine art of draping to conceal identity.

DSC_5205

DSC_5227

DSC_5230 DSC_5233

 

We had so many clues and ideas but needed clarity. So we got another clue from the Inside Man.

This cryptic clue took us outside into the Gallery gardens where we encountered a wrapped man who left us a large, wrapped package!

DSC_5248

DSC_5254

 

Morning Tea!

DSC_5269

After refreshment, there were more clues and artworks that brought us to a gripping conclusion. I will not give it away of course!!! No spoilers here!

DSC_5278

 

DSC_5295

 

I CAN reveal that we looked at how Picasso portrayed Dora Maar and how she in turn portrayed him.

DSC_5320

 

One of the  investigators noted: It’s like he took her face apart and then put it back together a little differently.’

DSC_5314

In the Pop Art Gallery with Jimi Hendrix (painting by Martin Sharp) looking down on them, the investigators drew their personalized depiction of their favourite singer.

DSC_5349

DSC_5353

DSC_5365

DSC_5378

 

And then somehow when that artwork was combined with the overlay of the ‘bloodspatter’, each child suddently had a piece of art remniscent of Martin Sharp’s image of Jimi Hendrix.

Wow!!!

DSC_5386

DSC_5395

DSC_5401

DSC_5403

DSC_5407

Art Scene Investigations are just one of the holiday events run for children by the National Gallery Of Australia.

I love how the kids in the group were gently drawn to delve deeper into the art they saw (with a dessert-sized spoon!) and encouraged to question everything and to explore.  Energetic discussion was unfolding live as the adventure progressed.  Detective Inspector Cleverpants and Officer Angelheart skillfully interacted with the questions,  and whilst they meandered along with where the discussion and questions went, they were masters at herding the adventure back to where it needed to go.
As one of our fearless leaders concluded:
‘Artwork gives up all sorts of secrets if you look for it. Always ask questions. And now you are art scene investigators you will always be looking.’

Art Scene Investigation:

Price: $12 ($10 if you are a member)

Duration: 1 1/2 hours

National Gallery of Australia Website: http://nga.gov.au/Home/Default.cfm

 

DSC_5415

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






css.php