A Few of their Favourite Pieces | The National Gallery & Museum

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We’ve spent a few days near Canberra recently and over two days took the children to the National Gallery and Museum.
We were all very impressed with the art gallery and spent a relaxed afternoon wandering through the galleries and exhibitions.
After filling our bellies in the sculpture garden and admiring the sculptures (particularly the slit drums) we entered the gallery, starting with the Indian and East Asian gallery.
I thought I’d take a few photos of some of the children’s favourite pieces….

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The Indian and East Asian gallery was Elki’s favourite in all of the NGA. He loved so many pieces, exclaiming over many of the ‘archaeological finds’; his fascination with archeology rekindled. This throne was a particular favourite.

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Anusha loved this statue. We read through its explanation a couple of times and she showed me the parts she liked best; the jewelled waist and chest.

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Waterlilies by Monet was a favourite of Elki’s. He chose it not realising it was by Monet, whose paintings we have on the walls at home. He then showed me another painting he really liked before noticing it was also a Monet!

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Another piece Elki liked was this by Frank Stella,

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And he absolutely loved this Astronaut Refugee.

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As we strolled through the Aboriginal gallery Anusha found this one amazing,

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and she showed me two favourites; this one,

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and this one.

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This was Elkis favourite of the Aboriginal paintings.

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We first noticed this awesome didgeridoo garden from above and as we walked through the children chose their favourites.
This one Anusha’s,

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And this one Elki’s.

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We left the main gallery to find the Contemporary gallery; the children interested in an exhibition there. Anusha loved the music we could here floating over the lake from the Carillon tower.

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The exhibition in the contemporary gallery was amazing! Elki and Anusha were enthralled by recreation of The Last Supper made completely from salt,

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And the intriguing glowing uranium chandeliers!

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Anusha found it was not only the chandeliers that glowed,

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and we were all fascinated by the intricacies and details in the food of the banquet.

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The children were able to feel some of the pieces of food, amazed that it was just salt!
Ken and Julia Yonetani’s exhibit was a favourite for all of us.

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The next day found us at the NMA. The gallery we spent the most time in was that of a temporary exhibition called Encounters; an exhibit of Aboriginal history. Elki is always most fascinated by the Aboriginal weapons and tools; particularly liking this shield and club.

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Anusha is more often drawn to the jewellery, adornment, and craftwork; this feather necklace a favourite.

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Undoubtedly though, the children definitely got the most enjoyment from the Kspace. Here they were able to design their own robots, which they then used in a computer game to complete tasks in a particular time in history.
Coincidentally, the first time they played I joined in, and we were taken back to the 1980s protest of the damming of the Franklin river in Tasmania!

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Zubin had a turn at being a robot with his Dad too, it was too cute not to capture!
Elki and Anusha played again later after we had wandered the rest of the museum; and then we headed back to camp and some downtime after our two full days.

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Celebrating My 14 Year Old’s Birthday | The Melbourne Museum

My first born turned 14 years old on Tuesday the first! I am such a blessed mama!
In the morning we woke, wished our boy a happy day, gave him his birthday cards and gifts, and I read him his birth story….

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We camped close enough to Melbourne so that we could take Elki into the city to celebrate his special day.
After breakfast we took him out to spend his birthday money; he had planned his spending and knew what he wanted, and then we went out for a seriously delicious vegan lunch at Lord of the Fries, and dropped in to Smith and Deli for takeaway vegan birthday donuts.

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That night we sang Happy Birthday by candlelight and torchlight and he ate his Birthday donut (Amazingly yummy!)

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The next day we embarked on another big day; the Melbourne museum.

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There was some initial frantic, rushing to see what came next; the dinosaur walk an exciting start, and the flying pterosaurs (especially Quetzalcoatl) sparking a lot of interest.

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Elki was in awe of the giant squid in the underwater gallery.

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The bug gallery was super interesting, we saw dung beetles with life sized elephant poo, gorgeous stick insects, and tiny, tiny wood insects but Anusha was very trepidatious about seeing any spiders so we walked on to the Wild gallery to see the animals.

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Animals are what she is drawn to and most interested in. Even though we all found the stuffed animals rather unnerving, we tried out the interactive computers to find out the names of animals we didn’t know.

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We had a wander around the Children’s gallery,

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The textural feel of this a favourite of all the children.

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The different visible levels and layers of the forest gallery were quite beautiful. The children looked into the core of a dead tree to see what lived inside,

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and saw fish swimming under the water of a creek.

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The Aboriginal cultural gallery was fascinating for us all: Anusha listened to the different languages of the varying Aboriginal countries and Aboriginal names for some Australian animals; telling me the name for Echidna and asking me to listen.

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Elki spent time finding out the names and uses of some Aboriginal hand tools and weapons,

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And we all learned about Aboriginal toys. I absolutely loved the breasts and baby toy!

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After wandering the Aboriginal gallery and Te Pacifica gallery, with it’s awesome boats and masks that Elki showed me and thought were awesome, (interestingly, the masks were made in an area of New Guinea close to where Scott spent the first five years of his life) we had a look around the Melbourne gallery.
Anusha and I were fascinated by this construction of an old Melbourne house. Elki found the old weapons most appealing.

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We then made our way outside for a picnic; Elki happening across a blunderbuss, a favourite of his!

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After lunch and a rest in the shade we made our way back in and looked around the Mind and body gallery.
We were all getting a bit weary but before leaving we checked out the Dynamic Earth gallery and it was a definite favourite!
After Elki and I had looked at each of the globes of Earth in formation and were dazzled by the crystals, we all found each other in the movie theatre. The 3D volcano movie was amazing, Elki exclaiming in delight; “it was like surfing the lava!” Anusha and I loved it and felt slightly sick and overwhelmed all at the same time. But definitely a great way to end our visit.

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The following day we recovered and Elki enjoyed his new birthday purchases; Lego, Yu gi oh cards, which he tried out with his Dad and sister, and a set of the Heroes of Olympus books.
I’ve now been a mama for about two fifths of my life and I am dearly looking forward to sharing another fifth with this beautiful boy.