It’s hard to believe we’re back into school holidays again. And, being in the throes of winter weather, we hope the museum might be an enticing place to bring children over this period.
If you have art lovers among your children or mokopuna then ‘Freedom & Structure: Cubism and New Zealand Art 1930-1960’ is not to be missed. Cubism was a radical new form of European art, moving away from replicating scenes to challenging conventional viewpoints, angles and indeed the very nature of art. It’s not often that you get to see a series of Colin McCahon artworks in one place and I was certainly surprised by the style of his works during this period. Another artist, Louise Henderson, has emerged as one of the standouts in this exhibition for me, with an incredibly fresh and vibrant style – utilising a colour palette that looks contemporary even today.
For music lovers ‘He Manu Tioriori: 100 years of Ngati Kahungunu music’ takes you on a journey through the amazing talent that has emerged within this region. From WWI waiata, through brass bands, jazz age, rock and roll, classical and contemporary music, to Matatini (the national kapa haka festival) held in Hastings earlier this year, this exhibition covers a vast array of styles and talents. Children especially enjoy interacting with the touch-activated instruments, creating their own jazz music – and there’s space to enjoy a bit of dancing as well. And if they haven’t tried it yet there’s also the chance to mix sounds of taonga puoro (Maori instruments) in Tenei Tonu.
If your child’s interest is history and stories of individual people, I cannot recommend the Earthquake Survivors Stories film highly enough – these are extraordinary first-hand stories told by survivors of the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake. They are moving, surprising, poignant and occasionally funny but all very honest and raw memories of the greatest natural disaster in New Zealand’s history. We’re currently working on adding subtitles to this film so that it can be more accessible to a wider audience (sadly not in time for these holidays though).
And of course our drop-in zone will be open throughout the school holidays with books and craft activities to enjoy (and some seating for the adults to take a break). Outside the drop-in zone we have our Matariki inspired colouring wall and there’s always the activity trail, which you can pick up from our lovely customer services team in the front foyer. This way children have something to do throughout the galleries while, hopefully, adults get enough time to enjoy the exhibitions on the way.
Whatever you choose to do over the holidays I hope you’ll manage to get some fun time in with your children and, if you’re like me, find ways to ensure they don’t sit in front of a screen the entire day!
Laura Vodanovich – Director, MTG Hawke’s Bay
Published in Hawke’s Bay Today Saturday 8 July 2017