Sunday, November 27, 2011


We love GOMA! Always have, always will! Today tawdry ol' Disney was gazumped by GOMA as the Happiest Place on Earth, for five wee-uns and their bedazzled minders.

Seriously this place has everything a brain fried mother could ask for both entertaining and, dare I say, thrilling our little people. The State Library has this sunken lounge play pit place that looks like the useful box exploded from Play School.
The theme today was 'My Island Home' so there were toddler sized boats with nets to fish for softy sea life, lizards, lighthouse cubby, a Torres Strait type house, T.I. softy people,
very funky seating and crafted children's sculptures of all the associated themes including a dugong and some more boats and islands. This beats playgroup. There are lots of enthusiastic young volunteers and views outside of all the people walking past.
The cool people had lunch in some cool river breezes then chased dump birds- verminous scavengers that are even ruder than bush turkeys. That is a waitress, not a dump bird.
Than we ran with feverish anticipation into the deliciously cold concrete sanctuary of GOMA. I hadn't been back for a while- possibly since before the floods and that was a stunning kids' exhibition too.
The Spot Room is back but on a vaster scale. It's like legally vandalising your own home.
Even 12 year old boys can do it and not be bored.
They might even be happy enough to allow the annoying little sister to sit between themselves and the friend as they attempt to tag with spots. They think it's cool but it's cool like playing the lead break of Smoke on the Water on Euphonium is cool. (That's another post and, yes, Bungalowgirl, it is I who am the mad mother who accepted that instrument!)
This is just the tip of the iceberg as many of the truly psychedelic rooms are not allowed to be photographed. 'We Miss You Magic Land' is a surreal, colour drenched delight of fantasy worlds that took months to install. They are made of found objects like squirrels and deer and op shopped tiny figurines and little hills and gardens made of beads and patterns of coloured sugar. There is even a rainbow floor boardwalk into the rooms. MMMC!!! Take the Fin K! It is beyond Moomin loveliness.
Aunty Jussy loved it too.
I was besotted by the Avatar-ish floating gardens with whimsical root worlds below.
Meanwhile, this man is the reason we went in to Southbank today. I first came upon him when I was teaching children with autism in London. His abilities interested me as one of my students was also a gifted autistic artist but not quite on this scale. Stephen Wiltshire was only twelve at the time but now he is thirty and seeing the world and making a living out of his extraordinary talent.

He went up in the Southbank ferris wheel on Friday and looked out over the cityscape and memorised its detail. Then he came down and started to draw it completely from memory. Astonishing! He uses Staedtler felt tip pens of varying thicknesses and draws onto a huge panoramic curve of paper. I could have watched him for hours.
He was completely absorbed, smiling as he drew, listening to his i-pod and only looking up when people crossed over his demarcated barrier into his space. (e.g.. dancing toddler, overly aggressive photographers) He draws, not building by building, but in vertical strips of the page from left to right like a scanner would. I love how the whole thing was loosely mapped in first so there is the lovely fade from meticulous detail to gestural soft line.

Do I sound excited? I really was! This was meant to be a separate post altogether but I couldn't wait to tell you. He working in the State Library foyer till Tuesday 5pm when he is due to finish.

I could spend a week in there and camp in the T.I hut. Seriously. I even love the GOMA restrooms! It could be done!


  1. Are we excited!!! I have no idea what GOMA is but I'm excited!!! The guy drawing the cityscape is absolutely amazing. Seriously.

  2. You've excited me about going to GOMA this weekend. I had planned on doing the Christmas run to IKEA ... so I'm torn.

    I do love any art that features baby deer and rainbow floors!!


  3. Oh wow, this place looks amazing.
    Stephen sure is talented, those illustrations are unreal. x

  4. Can't wait to get back to my real island home and bask.

  5. Deb: In my excitement I forgot to mention that it is the Gallery of Modern Art or Heaven- either way works for me!

    MMMC: AND squirrels!

    Zara: He is only working on that one so I'd like to get back in and see how it turns out tomorrow!

    Julie: You're living in the State Library play pit sort of, but with good surf!

  6. Yes, I too,would love to watch this artist .
    He's an autistic savant, isn't he?
    What a once in a lifetime event to be part of.
    The kids' library display is amazing.
    Brisbane is growing up in the nicest way.
    More years ago than I care to remember, I couldn't leave fast enough.

  7. Love the photo of M in the heart. Pardon the pun. That has to be a classic. Thanks for giving me a chance to see it all through kids' eyes.

  8. Wow Annie! Stephen is not to be missed I think Miss R and I will swing by this arv. LG

  9. DMC: We're glad you stuck it out.
    Jus: You can look through child's eyes any time you want!
    LG: Hope you both love it as much as we did!

  10. GOMA looks like so much fun for the whole family. I remember reading something about Stephen Wiltshire some time ago. How awesome to watch him in action.

  11. Wow, Stephen Wiltshire is amazing, so fantastic that I presume the gallery has sponsored him to come and share his gifts. Are you an art teacher Annie? We love love love Goma but haven't been for a few months, that exhibition looks brilliant, hope it is still on for school hols. We are hanging out for the end of term too, kids are starting to drop like flies around here. melx

  12. BG: I was in a previous life, long ago it seems, before the time of the Mummy.
    CC: I wanted to go back and watch him without the kids but life got in the way.

  13. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also discuss with my site

    Best Kids Schools in Madhapur


Comments are the best bit. Drop in if you have time. You are most welcome!

Popular Posts