In honour of the Slovene Cultural Holiday, the National Gallery of Slovenia is opening an exhibition of works by children that were inspired by their visit to the gallery in 2013. The encounter with the original works of art and Gal's incentive triggered diverse experiences in young patrons and kindled the desire for creativity and imaginative expression. If you are interested where in the gallery Gal likes to sleep, what he likes to eat and who are his friends, look for the children's visual answers.
Gal received forty-three packages last year, which together contained almost eight hundred drawings and paintings. The artists were kindergartners and younger school children who visited Gal's activities. Every participating class or kindergarten group is represented in the exhibition by at least two works. Children who come to the gallery with their family and friends also regularly send their creations to Gal. The dwarf always responds with a thank-you letter.
The exhibition also includes the works made during activities in the gallery, especially the ones of Gal's Club, an association for children who visit the gallery in their free time. In the school year 2013/2014 three Gal's groups with forty-five members are active. In exhibition every member presents one artwork.
Among the creators the young musicians of Ljubljana's Franc Šturm Music School excelled as subtle observers. Thanks to them, the cultural holiday is going to sound harmonious.
Children's artwork can be separated into three categories. The first encompasses the images of Gal and the dwarf's adventures in the gallery, the second one presents children's re-creations of the paintings exhibited in the gallery, while the third category is connected with the themes of Gal's Club. In the beginners group the works whirl under the title Art for all senses, the continuing group's works are connected with Museology for the youngest, while the artworks of the oldest Gal's Club members are influenced by the symbolic meaning of their favourite paintings.
The children were very happy to complement the text by Svetlana Makarovič and the illustrations by Kostja Gatnik with their works. Among the paintings in the permanent collection that most often inspired youngsters were the works known from the books Gal in the Gallery and The Ghost in the Gallery:
- Hans Georg Geiger: Saint George Slaying the Dragon
- Anonymous painter, mid. 17th cent.: John George, Count Lamberg
- Lombard school: A Vase with Flowers
- Fortunat Bergant: Ana Marija, Baroness Erberg
- Matevž Langus: Karl Hummel Jr. and Julija Primic with Her Brother Janez
- Mihael Stroj: Luiza Pesjak
- Anton Karinger: Dog
- Jurij Šubic: Before the Hunt
- Anton Ažbe: Black Woman
- Ivana Kobilca: Summer and Woman Drinking Coffee
- Matej Sternen: The Red Parasol
- Matija Jama: Circle Dance
The children used various art techniques, which afforded them a broad expressive scope. Utilised most frequently were colour pencils, wax crayons, watercolours or tempera paints, as well as a combination of felt-tips and watercolours. Gal's Club members even used the egg tempera they made themselves, while the use of mixed media allowed for the greatest originality.
And for the end, let us deliver Gal’s congrats to all the creative youngsters. Gal was overwhelmed by your masterpieces! We must also acknowledge all the diligent parents and grandparents, as well as kindergarten and school teachers – the art mentors who made sure that the gallery visits transformed into a real artistic experience.
Author of the exhibition
Preparation of children's works and exhibition set-up
Tina Buh, Martina Vuga, Tanja Milharčič
Exhibition is extended until 30 June 2014
8 February–31 March 2014
National Gallery of Slovenia, Prešernova 24