‘The Gabori Sisters: Gathering by the Sea’

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 to enjoy.  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 Childrens Gallery at GOMA

As you enter the gallery prepare to be wowed by an interactive art corridor depicting a vibrant underwater scene. Realistic and wonderful, it is a responsive activity that will inspire your little one to put their arms out and explore the water which will move in time with their movements. Upon entering the main area you can then lie down on the cushions and look up to see some beautiful sea creatures 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.

For many children the key to enjoyment of an unfamiliar activity lies in the transition between what happening and what will be happening. I can’t imagine a more appropriate transition for moving from land to sea or from the real world into the world of the Gabori Sisters.

Positioned around the exhibition are three boats named Elise, Dorothy and Amanda; upon each one are coloured pencils, templates, paper and drawing boards. Gallery staff encourage visitors to reflect upon their personal thoughts on the ocean and draw a picture of the last time they gathered by the sea. Collage material is readily available including scissors, glue and a variety of of different textures of paper. Children are invited to to choose a different animal template and forge ahead with their own collage.

draw about the ocean at goma When finished, children can take their creation home or drop it 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 Totem Display

“What’s your Totem?”, is where you answer a series of questions on the wall and discover your own totem animal and its name in Kayardild (the Kaiadilt language). Once you have identified your totem, you can use the crayons to rub its pattern onto a wristband.


Technology brings the past to life

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 using natural and man-made materials. The final activity features an interactive screen based game with headphones empowering the children to create their own humpy and select materials such as driftwood, seaweed and fishing nets to construct and decorate it. If you enjoy this activity, it is available online and you can get creative at home: http://interactive.qag.qld.gov.au/gaborihumpy/

goma childrens arti gallery

A final transition

A calming way to end your visit is to walk back through the interactive animation. ‘The Gabori Sisters: Gathering by the Sea’ is well worth a visit as it provides an engaging space to be inspired, play, reflect, experiment, and be creative – all important for authentic learning.

Brisbane Kids Tips

  • The Gallery of Modern Art is in the South Bank Precinct that you can reach by walking past the Museum, via the Art Gallery and State Library.
  • Entry is free.
  • Parking is available immediately underneath but because it is so popular (and shares with the State Library) you will most likely need to park under the museum which is only a short walk from GOMA. Obviously there is lots of public transport to the Gallery of Modern Art if you prefer to make an adventure out of the journey.
  • When you walk into the Gallery of Modern Art you will be asked to store any backpacks in their cloakroom to protect artworks.
  • The Children’s Gallery is accessed by walking through the main doors of GOMA where you will be directed by their helpful staff. There are lifts for disabled access, pram users (and tired toddlers).
  • The main entry of GOMA opens out onto a grassy forecourt where you could eat a packed lunch or grab a bite at a nearby cafe. The most child friendly and least fancy food options seem to be at the Museum where you can get anything from fruit through to hot chips and sandwiches.
  • You could get lost in the gift shop of the Gallery of Modern Art so make sure you check it out before you leave.
  • This is the ideal activity for a preschooler and will take up a good 1-2 hours when relished. For older kids it may prove to be a quicker activity and part of a greater South Bank experience with the nearby kids corner, Queensland Museum and ofcourse South Bank.


You Might Also Enjoy...

Tell All Your Friends About This!

Leave a Reply

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

Keep Up To Date With Brisbane Kids!