‘What is Different?’

‘What is Different?’ is an exhibition of artworks by Kindergarten to Primary School age children from across Queensland. The Museum of Brisbane (MoB) in collaboration with the Gallery of Children’s Art (GoCA) invited kids from the region to respond to local, personal and global changes in relation to the Corona Virus pandemic and share their experiences and ideas with the community through creative expression.

Artwork by four-year old Joey in the exhibition 'What is Different?' exploring the global pandemic through the eyes of children at Museum of Brisbane.
Joey, 4. A rainbow germ called Rosemary. Courtesy the artist and Gallery of Children’s Art (GoCA)

MoB’s dedicated children’s art space designed especially to exhibit work by children is the host venue for ‘What is Different?’, until 31 January 2021. GoCA is a not-for-profit organisation working to provide artistic opportunities for children and “acknowledges that children are artists with the capacity to communicate their hopes, fears, ideas and personal experiences in intentional and creative ways.”

Audiences are invited to explore stories of the current crisis from a new perspective – one that ruminates from the hearts and minds of the young and uninhibited. Across an insightful and colourful burst of creativity, Queensland youngsters visually articulate their response to Covid-19 with stories built on themes of friendship and family, isolation and lock-down, home-schooling and play, and the impact of the pandemic on life as we now know it.

Children are intuitive, they can sense and see change and can recognise when things are different. In the case of the global pandemic our kids have become all too familiar with the possibilities of sickness, the need to mask up and keep a safe physical distance from others, and many have become accustomed to the call of isolation and lockdown, among other restrictive anomalies. Their understandings of the current crisis may be simpler than our own, but kids also have the need to express their emotions and concerns of what is going on around them. Creativity provides a magical outlet for them to tell their own stories about the world they live in.

Throughout the exhibition audiences will be delighted by a vibrant display of children’s artworks featuring rainbow-coloured germs like the one featured here by four-year old Joey, alongside drawings of playgrounds and pets, and portraits of families who have been isolating at home and depictions of loved ones divided by distance. Visitors both young and old are invited to become part of the project by contributing their own artful expressions of ‘What is Different?’ through the exhibition’s interactive activities.

“Imbued with the quintessential humour and heart that only children can truly possess, this exhibition invites the viewer to see crisis through a new lens. One that is unselfconscious, playful, and poignant,” says the gallery.

The exhibition is free with timed ticket entry. Bookings are essential and can be made here. The Museum of Brisbane brings Queensland’s vibrant art, culture and history to life through a program of exhibitions, workshops, tours, talks and children’s activities and is located on Level 3, Brisbane City Hall. For more information visit museumofbrisbane.com.au