Restoring Wonder to Our Lives


Where did it go?

child artist response BIG

Ceramics in Schools
coordinated by
Kristyn Taylor
for exhibition:
Human – The Child Artist Response Project

We most likely had a bucket-load of this magical curiosity-and-amazement stuff when we were children. The world was an intriguing place of potential. A cardboard

box could be a house, a suburb, a country. A pink paper clip and a green pencil could be distinct characters in a long story.

We probably asked ‘Why?’ a lot and did a fair amount of wondering of the open-eyed, hopeful kind.

child artist response BIG

Ceramics in Schools
coordinated by
Kristyn Taylor
for exhibition:
Human – The Child Artist Response Project

Then the wilds of wonder, along with rivers of creative expression and oceans of imaginative play, dried to a trickle as we did this weird thing called growing up. We probably had our curiosity stomped on, boxed in, or at very the least filed down by the emery board of sensible conformity.

Restoring Wonder to Our Lives

How to do this?

One way is to go to a particularly inspiring exhibition called

‘Human – The Child Artist Response Project’

at Manly Art Gallery and Museum in Sydney.

Kathryn del Barton

Child artist response to adult artist Kathryn del Barton’s half-a-postcard

This exhibition, originated and hosted by the BIG Kids Magazine team, brims with wonder, imagination, curiosity and creativity.
Check out the remarkable BIG Magazine here.

school art matchbox response

Peta Morris from The Kid Creative worked with students using matchboxes to capture varied responses to the theme HUMAN. Year Six participants explored mixed emotions about beginning high school

I love that Lilly Blue and Jo Pollitt (the BIG coordinators) give equal weight to contemporary adult artists and to children. I love that this exhibition is all about dialogue, response, communication.

Lilly Blue, Twyla response art

Artist Original:
She Travelled by Paper, Boat and Seed by Lilly Blue
Child Response:
My Ocean of Freedom
by Twyla, age 8

It is so very ALIVE and fresh.

For starters, BIG stands for Bravery, Imagination, Generosity and exhibitors of all ages get to offer their personal definition of these words.

artist response child human

Artist Original:
Only Human
by Leesa Knights

children's art respected

Child Response:
The Little People
by Jak, age 13

We see a range of ‘duets’, where one person creates a work and another makes an art piece in response. Sometimes the initiator is the adult and sometimes the child.

Marg Coutts, Tara child artist response

Child Original:
Berry Harvest by Tara, age 12
Artist Response:
Harvest Dance by Marg Coutts

We also get to see bountiful responses by primary school kids to an initial adult artwork e.g. the super-colourful characters created in response to Lilly Blue and Jo Pollitt’s ‘Grumpilina and Grumpilotta’ drawings.

child artist response BIG

Ceramics in Schools
coordinated by
Kristyn Taylor
for exhibition:
Human – The Child Artist Response Project

On Saturday 13th May, I am delighted to be taking part in a

Playback Theatre show at the exhibition.

Playback aims to expand the landscape of creative responses even further. Here’s the blurb:

Out of the Box Theatre invites you to watch and listen as your responses to HUMAN: The Child Artist Response Project are brought to life through acting, movement and sound.

The troupe, in conjunction with BIG Kids Magazine, is ready to create improvised theatre from your in-the-moment responses to the works by children and artists currently showing at Manly Art Gallery and Museum.

playback theatre Sydney

Out of the Box Theatre
creatively plays back your real life experiences and responses

Check out the fabulous (Yes, I’m biassed) Out of the Box Theatre here.

The show is 3pm to 4pm, Sat 13th May

right there amidst the Human exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney

What are your responses to all or any of this? Please share.


12 thoughts on “Restoring Wonder to Our Lives

  1. what a beautiful. inspired and inspiring post sally. I am full of wonder looking at this wonderful art.
    Thank you so much for showing the collaborations. x Linda

    Liked by 1 person

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