The Gabori Sisters: Gathering By The Sea | GOMA Children’s Art Centre, Brisbane

The Gabori Sisters

‘The Gabori Sisters: Gathering by the Sea’ is a fascinating and inspiring exhibition currently at the Children’s Art Centre, GOMA until 12th February 2017. It is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm and it is free of cost.

The bright and engaging exhibition was developed by the Gabori sisters, Elsie, Dorothy and Amanda, and takes visitors on a journey to their homeland of Bentinck Island in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria, right at the very top of Australia. The Island is an important source of inspiration for the sisters and through interactive and multimedia activities, visitors can learn about the unique relationship they share with the sea and the creatures that live there.

The Gabori Sisters

Hands-on activities for kids at The Gabori Sisters: Gathering By The Sea

Positioned around the exhibition are three boats named Elise, Dorothy and Amanda; upon each one are coloured pencils, templates, paper and drawing boards. Children are encouraged to reflect upon what the ocean means to them and write down their thoughts or draw a picture of the last time they gathered by the sea.

In another activity, children are able to create a collage of one of the sea creatures that can be found in the fish traps with coloured and patterned paper. The work stations are well-ordered and well-resourced. Once finished, kids can take their creations home, or drop them into the rock pool to be added to the ‘rock wall’ display. Over time, the sea creatures build up the ecology of the rock wall (the ecology of a habitat is the relationship between the environment and the things that live there).

The Gabori Sisters

What’s your Totem?

“What’s your Totem?” is an activity where children can answer a series of questions on the wall to discover their own totem animal and its name in Kayardild (the Kaiadilt language). Once they have identified their totem, kids can use the crayons to rub its pattern onto a wristband. By wearing the wristband, kids can take their totem animals with them as they continue to explore the exhibition.

The Gabori Sisters

Under the Sea installation

The artists have created a wonderful under-the-sea installation; so realistic that my son was hesitant to step into the “water” (light projected onto the floor to mimic the ocean). Visitors can lie down on the cushions and look up to see some beautiful sea creatures that have been hand created by the Gabori sisters from woven felt. This is a really magical space where you can imagine you are swimming with colourful sea life.

The Gabori Sisters

Build your own Humpy

The Gabori sisters have fond memories of building humpies as children. A humpy is a small structure made for shelter when hunting away from home that uses natural and man-made materials. In this area of the exhibit, children can play an interactive game to create their own humpy, and select materials such as driftwood, seaweed and fishing nets to construct and decorate it.

If your Brisbane Kids enjoy this activity on your visit, it is also available online so you can get creative at home – http://interactive.qag.qld.gov.au/gaborihumpy/.

A calming way to end a visit to this GOMA exhibition is to walk through an interactive animation where visitors can see themselves underwater and engage with various sea creatures that swim by. ‘The Gabori Sisters: Gathering by the Sea’ is worth a visit, as it provides an engaging space to be inspired, play, reflect, experiment, and be creative – all important for authentic learning.

The Gabori Sisters: Gathering By The Sea is on at the Children’s Art Centre, GOMA Brisbane from 25th June 2016 to 12th February 2017. To find out more, please visit www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/whats-on/kids/gathering-by-the-sea.

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