First Excursions of the Year

29 Jan

This week is the best week to go on excursions around the city.  Since the schools kids have returned to their imprisonment schools, the venues are virtually empty, plus it’s too early for the schools to organise their excursions.  Just perfect!

So we headed to the city today to visit the Gallery of Modern Art and the Science Centre.

First up was Cai Quo-Qiang’s “Falling Back to Earth” exhibition.

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We paid to enter the main exhibition (only $15 for an adult, and kids under 13 were free) to see the three main installations.

This tree installation, called “Eucalyptus”, was the first artwork we encountered.  I know.  It’s just a tree.  I think the point is to evoke a response and get you thinking.  That response may be, “How is that art?”

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There were drawing materials provided for those who wanted to express thoughts about the tree.

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The tree for Brayden made him think of a great tree house.

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“Head On” was the next installation.

The room was filled with wolves all running in a pack in the same direction.

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However the wolves collide with an invisible wall.  The insane thing is that the wolves regain their composure and return to the pack to make the same mistake again.  How human-like!

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We loved being able to walk amidst the installation.  It enabled us to get up close and personal with the wolves.  It seemed that each had their own unique expression and personality, although from a distance they were a pack with one mind.

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The third and final installation was called “Heritage”.

You enter a tranquil room full of animals (99 to be precise – we counted!),

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where predator and prey drink side by side

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from a perfectly still, clear, blue pool

…well except for one constant drip, which is quite loud in such a quiet room.

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We walked around the installation a couple of times asking each other questions and pondering how the artist might answer.

(Yes, that’s real sand the animals are on so I’d only bring children into the exhibition if you are confident that they will obey you.  The gallery’s bouncers staff make a point of telling every parent, who enters, about the sand.)

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After the main exhibition we ventured into the children’s exhibition (which is free and very child friendly).

Here the boys created multimedia “gunpowder” artworks, which is the signature medium of the artist.  These artworks explode and appear in front of you and also on the display wall for others to view.

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The children were also able to create firework displays.  These too were projected on the large screens lining the room.  My boys loved this.  You can dabble with this program online as well.

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After lunch we ventured down to the Science Centre to explore their current exhibition, “Science Fiction, Science Future”.

I highly recommend this exhibition.  My boys loved it.

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We used our minds to compete against each other to make a ball move to our opponent’s end.  That was very cool and watching our brain waves on the screen was fascinating.

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We used our eyes to move the cursor on a screen.

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We scanned our ‘identity’ bands.

Brayden was told that he had alien DNA and needed to report to immigration.  Poor Ethan was told that he had no brain at all.

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We also had a robot mimic our expressions

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I was interested to see how my boys would respond to a questionnaire about possible futures.  The quiz asked questions like, “Would you clone yourself?”, “Would you like a robot for a friend?” and “Would you wear an identity chip?”  An insightful activity for sure.  Both of my little men passed in my view.

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While we were visiting, we were invited to join a presentation about light.  It was not the best we have seen but the boys and I learned something new.

We always thought the primary colours were red, blue and yellow, but this fellow told us they were red, blue and green.  How can this be?!

It turns out that the primary colours depends on the medium you are using.  If you are adding light together, the primary colours are red, blue and green.  The more colours of light you add (additive method) the lighter/whiter the result.  However if you are combining paint/pigment colours, the primary colours are red, blue and yellow (well more exactly – magenta, cyan and yellow).  The more you combine, the darker/blacker your resulting colour (this is called the subtractive method).

How about that?!

The Science Centre has just turned our world a little upside down.  We’ll have to do some exploring to make sure the colour combinations of light and pigment aren’t totally different too!  Does yellow and blue light still make green???

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To complete our day at the Art Gallery and the Science Centre we called in at their gift stores.

What’s a visit without checking out the goodies!!

Of course we found a few new treasures and, since our membership card entitles us to discounts at the store, we bought these lovely titles home.

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Day two of our 2014 school year is complete.

(Oh and you’ll be pleased to know that my ‘dead’ computer from yesterday has been resurrected with a new power supply box.  Thank goodness for clever hubbies.)

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Field Trips, Homeschooling Days


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