Since November I’ve seen the Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art pop up on my Instagram feed a number of times and I've been meaning to go. Things got pretty crazy over the festive season and then with Hallie's arrival, but with only two weeks until the exhibition closes, I was having serious FOMO. However, this weekend, it appeared that most of Sydney also had a fear of missing out, due to the size of the crowds.
Pipilotti Rist is a prolific artist in the area of experimental video and multi-media installations. Sip My Ocean showcases key pieces from her career; it’s immersive, interactive and a full sensory experience, which makes it very engaging for kids. I had read a few review on the blogs I regularly follow about it being a real hit with young ones and I wondered if it would be good for a toddler too. Sundays are the best day to go as there is Sundays with Pipilotti, a free interactive creative space where children can experiment with techniques inspired by Rist.
On arrival we first headed to the Sundays with Pipilotti area first and let Farley explore. There were small tables set up with different cut out images and mirrors that you could use to photograph your own reflected montage inspired by Rist’s work. In an adjoining room, there were projectors set up with transparent images, leaves, feathers and cellophane to project your own kaleidoscopic creation on to the wall. Farley loved this, we spent quite some time helping her create different artworks. It was fascinating to watch her make the connection between what was on the projector and what was on the wall.
I was in two minds about actually going into the exhibit, due to the size of the crowds but I decided I’d be annoyed at myself if we came all this way and didn’t see it. However, would I recommend it for a toddler? Probably not. While Farley seems to be having a great time, intrigued and excited by all the colourful projections and sounds, there were a few easy to touch (and potentially break) elements to the artworks. For example the suspended balls in the Sleeping Pollen section and the suspended sheer drapes in the Administrating Eternity section. We didn’t even make it into the Pixel Forest Mutterplatte section, which is a room full of 3000 suspended LED lights, due to the ridiculously long queue. The 4th Floor to Mildness section which was a room full of beds with a video projection on the ceiling was so full, every bed had someone lying on it and most of the floor had people laying down too! It was pretty bizarre. When we entered Braino was like ‘ what on earth....?!?! And Farley was commentating quite loudly all the things she could see on the projection. 'Butterfly!' 'Stingray', 'Where's butterfly gone?' It was cute, but probably a tad annoying to those around us.
Having studied Film and Television Production at university, I was really keen to see the work of someone who has pioneered experimental video art; however Sip My Ocean left me feeling curious, if not a little confused. I'll admit, I don't do well in crowds and was probably a little distracted with having the little ones in tow. It's an amazing exhibit but one that you'd want to take the time to fully immerse yourself in. It did get me thinking about what constitutes video art and how it compares to the use of traditional and more technical filmic languages.
Braino's thoughts: "That was probably the weirdest thing you've convinced me to go to."
I love the fact that the Museum of Contemporary Art provides a free space for children to explore, learn and experiment with art. It made for a great Sunday afternoon family adventure; it's wonderful being able to share my interested with my kids, even at this young age. Oh, I should probably mention Hallie, she was indeed with us. I had her in baby sling the whole time, she was asleep for most of it, only needing one feed and waited until we were about to leave to wake up. Starting the appreciation of art at a very young age!
TIPS AND INFORMATION
- The Exhibit: Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean is on until the 18th of February 2018 - one more weekend to go. The Sundays with Pipilotti creative space will also be running on Saturday the 17th as well as Sunday the 18th.
- Getting there: The Museum of Contemporary Art is located right on Circular Quay, making it very assessable by public transport. We drove in and parked at the Sydney Opera House, which has a flat weekend rate of $15.
- Cost: Entry in to Pipilotti Rist; Sip My Ocean is $22 for an adult, $17 for a concession, $12 for kids between the ages of 12 - 18 years old. Kids under 12 are FREE. Entry into the Sundays with Pippilotti section is FREE
- Pram friendly?: Bringing a pram would possible although a little inconvenient. We had Hallie in the baby sling and Farley as started to become really good at walking longer distances. She walked all the way from the Opera House. We had all the baby gear in a backpack which we did have to check into the cloakroom.
- Parents Room: We found the parents room on the ground floor was nothing flashy but totally fine for nappy changes and breastfeeding.
- Dining: There are a few options for food with in the MCA; the MCA Cafe on the rooftop and GRAZE on the ground level. More info here.
Address: 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia