This is a picture of Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration room at Tate Modern, a bespoke installation room designed to engage children around the theme of her 2012 exhibition. There are plenty of great examples of this from some of our best loved art institutions, a host interactive sessions and family workshops at the weekend, but what happens when we try to take our kids along to enjoy some of the regular exhibitions that aren’t specifically catering for this audience? Not nearly half as much fun that’s for sure. On the numerous occasions I have braved it, I’ve been met with more than a dozen glares from the regular art-loving public for spoiling their enjoyment with a sqwarky baby or an over enthusiastic toddler. And me? Not much fun for me either as I’m left with high anxiety trying to keep it all under control, whilst still trying to pay attention to even a fraction of the exhibition, that I made my way to see.
Inspired by successful initiatives such as The Big Scream and For Crying Out Loud, I would love to see a time when art institutions big and small give as much thought to how parents can enjoy a featured exhibition with their young children, as they do to the dedicated kids activities around a major exhibition, without anxiety and without impacting the experience for others.
This is not a crusade, this is just one mum’s mission to capture the best of the arts for children, right now, and share my experiences of finding new ways to enjoy the arts with my own little ones in tow.