The invitation to create an activity for the NGV kids summer festival was a by-product from the manufacture of the John Wardle Architecture Commission. With surplus PROMEG available, the Architects suggested 'something' to connect the commission, the garden and an interested public. First concepts considered the translucent forms of the Commission. Children became lost and disinterested in the shapes, and felt the garden was not acknowledged in the process. A bottlebrush with a possum was adopted in recognition to Australian fauna. A visit to the NGV garden in spring blossom inspired the form. The light hearted and curious form interested test groups, who wished for a small base to proudly display the stems.
The activity contributed beautifully to the commission. Manufactured from the waste of the commission, the colour and form match perfectly. Set underneath the Commission, a variety of tables and chairs catered for all. The die cut kits allowed for a neat and compact execution. Popping out from a flat sheet, the experience is fun, light hearted and not too easy. The staff themselves enjoyed the activity. To introduce and support participants, they created an A3 information handout. By capturing and explaining the project at length, curious participants could learn further if desired. Once completed, a recycle bin was provided to highlight the environmental benefits of the material.
The activity created a memorable and important experience. It drew people to the Commission that, whilst stunning, is static. The dynamic activity allowed participants to engage with a material from the Commission, and explore how it prompted the design. By creating an individual experience that is fun and imaginative, the activity helps foster an inclusive environment within the NGV. This contributes to breaking away formal structures and complex ideas that can exclude young families from experiencing art galleries. Furthermore, the activity promoted engagement within families by enabling playful experimentation of the Commission shapes across the generations.
The activity was a collaboration between NGV and Megara. Megara aspired to promote PROMEG, our signature blend of polypropylene to an interested, creative and diverse audience. NGV wished to engage and enhance the Commission through a value adding free activity. The service creates value whereby children are introduced and are inspired by contemporary architecture and design. Abstract and complex ideas are presented in a warm, light hearted and imaginative manner. In the short term it engages the community into a space that some may not visit, allowing for the promotion of parallel offerings. In the long term, a level of goodwill is formed where the NGV is recognised as an inclusive and creative space for all.
The project was inspired and created from the Commission's waste. Waste would have ordinarily been recycled back into the closed loop system at Megara. The activity creates value for the waste, forming an educational resource that enhances understanding back onto the Commission itself. PROMEG is a by-product of petroleum refinement, which also is recycled at Megara. The material is durable, hard wearing and adaptable. PROMEG was the ideal choice for the Commission and activity, allowing participants to keep the bottlebrushpossum as pride of place at home, whilst being able to be recycled at the end of its life.
The service is truly unique in that it is a public program that condenses artistic work into a form that can engage and inspire the general public. Being created from waste material, the activity responds and complements the Commission, sparking awareness of environmental responsibility and how resources can be creativity reused. The activity encourages families to become involved with artistic spaces. Art galleries can be formal and complex spaces, which could be considered hostile to young families. The activity innovates by encouraging whole family participation in a light hearted and fun manner. NGV enhances their public perception as an inclusive environment, while establishing long term goodwill.
The activity has made a significant contribution to the NGV kids program. The positivity from all concerned highlights the impact of a close integration between public programs and artistic endeavours. Over eleven days, over 13,000 kits were distributed and assembled. The activity fostered a fun and creative space for families. In doing so, the NGV reinforces itself as a space for all; a space that invokes passion and interest in the arts. “The activity is overwhelmingly popular and the Deputy Director, Andrew Clark has remarked on its success. We have received great feedback from everyone taking part! “ Kate Ryan, The Truby and Florence Williams Curator of Children's Programs.