Express Yourself! Romance was Born for Kids

Something is missing in this title – it should read ‘Express Yourself!  Romance was Born for Kids Young and Old!  This fabulous interactive exhibition designed for children and families will dazzle you.  From the moment you enter the glinting grid of thousands of coin-scale metallic sequins, you will be swept into this amazing cornucopia of artworks, fashion, hands-on activities and multimedia delights, divided across three rooms – The Tomb, Bush Magic and the Rainbow Room.

The creativity in this exhibition doesn’t seem to have any limits.  It’s so joyously over the top!

Designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales of fashion label ‘Romance Was Born’ have collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria to bring a truly enchanting collection of evocative objects to inspire and excite children of all ages – as high as you want to go!  Excited and inspired is what everyone becomes.

The Tomb Room houses an amazing array of ‘glorious trappings’ imagined as the adornment of a mummified queen. Best of all here are the boots that would make any ‘Puss’ green with envy.


There are recessed niches displaying a magnificent array of gowns, shoes, wigs, headdresses and jewels. It’s such a lot of fun.



If you can bear to tear yourself away you’ll find the activity zone next door.  Here everyone can really get down to it and create their very own bling.  There are Hollywood-lit mirrors, make up stools and benches and a vast array of colourful sequins, shiny ‘jewels’ and bits and pieces for decorating a selection of paper templates to create necklaces, tiars, beards or whatever takes hold.  There’s provision to capture the odd ‘selfie’ – a real must!


From here it’s only a hop and skip to the Bush Magic room. Little people take delight in lily pad jumping to escape the sea creatures wonderfully projected down to create a billabong.  This is technically brilliant.


Add the soft bush sound effects and the result is enchanting.   Other exhibits in this space contribute to a magical bushland experience, so keep your eyes wide open. The collection of Australiana adds to the fascination.

Follow through into the Rainbow Room where digital tablets set in low benches offer young artists the opportunity to draw objects that have inspired them.  They can email them home and post them on social media.


The collection is a mixture of household objects, favourite toys and curios and artworks from the NGV collection which Anna and Luke chose to fascinate and inspire wide eyed youngsters.



Each room has a background of amazing wall papers derived from original work by artists who have collaborated with Romance was Born on their various collections.  They are truly captivating so don’t over look these!



An activity book has been compiled and is available for purchase in the gallery shop.  It’s beautifully presented and encourages children of all ages to draw and design their own outfits inspired by the Romance was Born collections.  Other items on sale include Tshirts for grown ups and little people, bags, sunglasses and a whole lot more.

Express yourself

Express yourself is the way to go.

Express Yourself: Romance Was Born for Kids will be on display at NGV International from 17 October 2014 to 22 March 2015. Open 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays. Free entry.

For further information click here