Tannika, our Administration Assistant, joined Family Creative Hub Producer, Eddie Abd, on one of her Tots to the Gallery excursions in June. Eddie, Tannika and Mums and bubs from the Maronite College of the Holy Family in Harris Park headed in to visit the Art Gallery of NSW.
On 13 June, Eddie and I met with a group of mothers and their children at Harris Park station for a day out at the Art Gallery of NSW for the Tots to the Gallery project. As soon as we met the group the ladies were warm and welcoming and throughout the day the conversations just flowed.
Our trip to the Gallery was particularly interesting, educational and eye opening for me because I experienced and witnessed situations I never had before. Some of the younger children were a bit overwhelmed on the train but Eddie calmed everything down and made a happy environment by singing a beautiful Arabic lullaby that all the mums knew from their childhood. Both I and the other commuters were all intrigued by how quickly the children joined in and calmed down. The train trip was filled with joy and laughter as the group shared songs and stories to the children.
Getting to the Gallery with prams and toddlers was a bit challenging as the toddlers like to touch and wander off to explore but we all stuck together and got there safely; it was beautiful to see the mothers and children (and even me) taken aback by some of the city’s beautiful surroundings.
The activities that were organised for the mums and children at the Gallery were very intriguing! The children loved it and their wandering minds stayed focused on the activities thanks to Victoria Collings, the Community Engagement Manager at the Art Gallery of NSW. The mums even enjoyed joining in to help the kids with some tasks and created beautiful artwork together. I got to enjoy watching the process unfold.
My view on the whole day was one of pure excitement. It was very new to me, as I haven’t been on a Tots to the Gallery excursion day before. I was happy to try something new as well as accompany many others. Watching Eddie and her passion for her job was a highlight as I learnt a lot about Eddie herself and what she does here at I.C.E.. Seeing what goes on behind the scene was very educational… and now I also feel like I can re-visit the Art Gallery of NSW without being nervous!
Words and Photo by Tannika Keaton