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Sci-Art: Creative Contraptions Exhibition

Home > Brisbane > Art | Exhibitions | Family | Free | School Holidays
by Katie E (subscribe)
A mum who uses adventures and outings around town as an excuse to avoid the housework.
Event: -
Interactive art exhibition to bring out your inner scientist
Time is running out to experience Ipswich Art Gallery's children's exhibition Sci-Art: Creative Contraptions. This exhibition will close with a bang, as party week is celebrated during the first week of the school holidays (24th 28th of June), and with crazy creatures workshops in the second week of the school holidays (1st-3rd of July). Even without these special events there is still plenty to interact with in this creative exhibition.

sci-art: creative contraptions Ipswich art gallery


Artist John Coleman, probably most famously known in Brisbane for his giant cicada at the Cultural Centre busway, has cleverly managed to combine art and science, form and function, which really gets visitors thinking in a Julius Sumner Miller kind of way "why is it so?"

There is a collection of moving sculptures around the gallery where visitors can interact with the artworks. Touch points, sensors, and simple electric circuits are used to generate air flows, movement, lighting and sound effects. The use of everyday objects such as feathers, tools, solar panels, wires, paint brushes, lights and ping pong balls really adds to the experience that sci-art is all around us.

Once the kids have fully experimented with (played with) the interactive art installations, there are plenty of scientific and artistic challenges for them to participate in. They can create their very own zany creature that floats. Using polystyrene balls for the body, kids can construct and decorate their creature with materials including, delicate tissue paper, sparkly cardboard squares and brightly coloured feathers. Then head over to the air flow table to determine whether their creature will float, how high it will float and for how long.

This is not only an exercise in decorative ability, but is more of a design exercise looking at balanced forces. Kids can return to the design table as many times as they like in order to perfect the elements of their design to keep their creatures floating. It was great to see kids experimenting with this and really trying to decide how to modify their creatures. There was also plenty of co-operative learning as kids began to piggy-back off each other's ideas in a process of design, construction, evaluation and re-design. It was also pretty amusing to see the adults engineering skills on display while their kids insisted on replacing their hard work with the 'prettiest' or 'most sparkly' decorations.

sci-art: creative contraptions Ipswich art gallery
Which designs float the best?


The second challenge for kids to take home involved the movement artwork station. From a science viewpoint this allows visitors to investigate energy conversions from electrical to kinetic. A large table housed several workstations where children could create artwork using spinning discs or vibrating pen holders with the push of a button. Not only were there lots of colourful art creations but there were plenty of surprising effects created, which led to plenty of laughs.

sci-art: creative contraptions Ipswich art gallery
Experimenting with kinetic energy to create art


sci-art: creative contraptions Ipswich art gallery


The Sci-Art exhibition is currently in its last two weeks, finishing up on July 7. If you're yet to experience it, this is certainly a top school holiday pick, or is definitely worth a repeat visit before it's gone forever. This free exhibition is on at the Ipswich Art Gallery daily from 10am 5pm. Not only is it great fun for the whole family, the kids will be learning without them even realising it.
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Why? Explore the fusion of art and science
When: Daily 10am-5pm
Phone: 07 3810 7222
Where: Ipswich Art Gallery, Children's Gallery
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Sounds like an interesting combination of science, arts, and craft.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12247) 2097 days ago
Kids love a craftwork station. Such a great activity for them to get creative :-)
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1133) 2097 days ago
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