Ipswich Art Gallery Construction Site Parent Review
‘I LOVE ART!!!” – my 6 year old exclaimed as we explored this immersive exhibition and I have to say, I absolutely agree.
The Ipswich Art Gallery’s Construction exhibition is incredible to experience. As you enter the gallery, you have a section with blue blocks to your right and ball run walls up the stairs to either side, with inviting collections of found objects, recycled pieces and wooden parts. My children loved exploring and building in these sections, but it wasn’t long before the glowing vortex of the Tape Scape sucked us all in.
Ipswich Art Gallery: Tapescape
If you haven’t visited before, the TapeScape is an incredible structure created out of 115 kilometres of packaging tape wrapped into a series of tunnels, slides and dead ends around a scaffolding frame. The entrance is like something out of a sci fi movie, with glowing lights running in different patterns and colours, but always in waves moving inwards, drawing you in and inviting you to enter and explore. The surface is slippery (socks must be worn) and has a bit of elasticity and give, and the tape itself has become translucent due to the number of layers.
Fun for the whole family
From the end of the entry vortex, there are 2 tunnels – to the left and the right. The right hand side features more open spaces, gentler slopes and easier navigation and the left side has tighter openings, more twists and turns and steeper inclines. Both sides were a lot of fun to explore and navigate for me and my family (6 year old, 3 year old, my husband and myself). The space is well ventilated with air holes and air conditioning blowing in and there were spots to rest and enjoy the experience of feeling suspended within the TapeScape.
My children enjoyed racing through and exploring the entire space, exiting via the slides and racing back in again to discover new paths and places within the TapeScape. The particularly enjoyed it when Daddy ‘nearly got stuck’ in the ‘wormhole’ – a tighter tunnel towards the back of the exhibit (he was able to wriggle through!).
Construction Site Zone
When the kids were totally puffed out we headed upstairs to the Construction Site zone, where there are piles of foam blocks and your only limits are your imagination and the laws of physics. My kids had completely different building styles – my 3 year old demolition man went with jenga-style towers made of foam bricks that he could tackle over, and my 6 year old budding architect went towards the larger pieces and started with a foundation and floor, before adding walls and a curved roof.
Building and demolition
Unfortunately you can’t pick your neighbours and her brother ploughed through it sideways which surprisingly they both enjoyed, before competing to see who could pack up their area the fastest. There was also a separate area for budding builders under the age of two, to either keep them safe from the bigger kids (or possibly more likely, to keep the foam blocks and constructions safe from overenthusiastic young explorers).
Help is on hand
All the staff at the gallery were enthusiastic, helpful and excited about the art and exhibits and assisted my kids to follow their own ideas. They provided gentle guidance and helped as labourers to lift blocks up high, but they were following the lead of my children. It was wonderful to watch my kids interacting with these adults who were respectful of them and treating their ideas as valuable.
Other things to do at the Ipswich Art Gallery
Unleash your inner engineer with the return of the popular Ball Run.Create your own run using tubes and recycled materials to send a rolling ball on its way. See if you can make the best, longest or most gravity-defying ball run ever!
Designed and produced by Imagination Playground for children’s museums around the world, these bright blue foam blocks, bricks, cogs, cylinders and connectors transform the activity tables into an instant creative play space. Build, stack, channel and connect to create your own invention for our display wall.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to this exhibition to any families with Brisbane Kids of any age. My whole family thoroughly enjoyed our time at Ipswich Art Gallery and before we were even buckled in the car the kids were already asking when we could go back.
Exhibition details for families
When: Monday, 2 Dec 2019 to Sunday, 16 February 2020 (closed 25th December through to the 1st January)
Opening times: 10-5 daily
Cost: ADULTS AT KIDS PRICES – All Ages All Day Entry $7 per person! OR $10 per person with TapeScape Socks^
$20 for a Family Pass (Admits up to 4 people. Must include at least 1 adult). Free for babies and toddlers under 2 years.
TapeScape Socks^ $3 per pair – yours to keep. Pay on entry with EFTPOS or cash.
Age recommendation: All ages. Recommended for ages 2 to 12 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Ipswich Art Gallery Location and Website
The Ipswich Art Gallery is location at d’Arcy Doyle Place (Nicholas Street), Ipswich.