How lucky the kids of Melbourne are these days! The National Gallery of Victoria’s free kids’ exhibits are impressive, well thought-out, and always very well executed. The latest show, Open House: Tromarama for Kids, is no exception, and proved fun for toddlers right through to teens (and grown-ups, too!).
In this wondrous and immersive house of fun, furniture hangs from the ceiling, red-lipped mouths talk to you as you walk by, and pink flamingos and garden gnomes peep out from behind the greenery.
The house is inspired by the interior of a typical Indonesian home, and features five fully furnished rooms – a kitchen, dining room, courtyard, bedroom and bathroom – and includes nine fun stop-motion video works in which ordinary household objects playfully come to life. The best fun to be had in this exhibit is venturing from one room to the next to discover all its secrets!
The biggest feature of the exhibit is the series of diorama-style boxes featuring different backgrounds and toys. There’s a tablet set up in front of each box, so kids can design their own scene, and then take photos to create their own stop-motion animation, which they can then email to themselves. Our toddlers loved playing around with the toys in each diorama, while older kids were clearly absorbed in their own mini videos.
For little party animals, there’s even a room with a multi-coloured dance floor, stop-motion video and upbeat music. The ‘bedroom’ features a big double bed just perfect for relaxing and watching the video works, and the ‘bathroom’ comes complete with a (unplumbed) toilet, which was a focal point for many of the toddlers at our visit – it’s not often you feel comfortable to let your toddler muck around with the loo; this is a great opportunity!
Created by Indonesian contemporary art collective Tromarama (Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena), this exhibit follows the hugely successful Romance Was Born exhibit for kids. Our bet is that this one will be just as popular, and we will be returning more than once!