Art and Me #blogvember

NGA Fountain ~ so much joy ~ so little time

NGA Fountain ~ so much joy ~ so little time

Tomorrow I will take Benedict to Art and Me for the last time.
It is the last one for the year and next year he will be too old.

Art and Me is an interactive program for two and three year olds run by the National Gallery of Australia. For the past two years, as often as possible, Benedict and I have made our way, one Friday a month, to the front door of the NGA. The excitement in the small boy as we wait for the doors to open is palpable. He races around, weaving in and out of the assembled queue of mostly 60 plus visitors who are waiting to enter the latest blockbuster. I try to help him understand how many minutes we will have to wait. I try to make sure the number of minutes is not too many. I take his photo with the pears. I measure his progress by how tall he is compared to them. He is now too tall. Too almost four. Much bigger and with more understanding than the mostly tiny two and three year olds, with whom he attends this magical monthly wonder, that is one of the best experiences I can imagine.


The tours involve learning, drawing, expressing, appreciating and accreting knowledge about what is important and about our wondrous cultural institutions that are so much of a part of the nation’s capital. Benedict has looked at modern art, classical art, sculpture, pop art, and installations in the children’s gallery about play. He has drawn with white pencil on black paper, made cut outs like Kentridge, he has stared at Monet, pressed all the lift buttons, paraded his ‘gallery arms’, straight and neatly by his side. He has sung and wriggled and we have both stretched out on the floor gazing up at the mobile in the modern art gallery.

Here is a short photo essay. Small boy grows and learns about art.

It has been the most wonderful experience of the month, in the past two years and I have looked forward intensely to the joy of it, and so has he. Now, we will do other things and just visit the gallery, but this precious time will stay with me forever. Whenever Benedict doesn’t feel like going to childcare, he asks me if we can go the Gallery instead. A fantastic place which is now knows his way around.