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Art exhibition at Ixelles museum is made just for kids

21:34 01/11/2017
All the paintings at Hop! are hung 1.2 metres from the ground to give six-to-12-year-olds a perfect view

A new art exhibition specially designed for children has opened at the Musée d'Ixelles and aims to teach art appreciation through movement.

The Hop! exhibition, aimed specifically towards children aged six to 12 years old, is co-produced with the non-profit Patrimoine à Roulettes (Heritage on Wheels). The paintings are hung 1.2 metres from the ground to give children a perfect view.

"It's impossible to think about children without movement - they move all the time," says coordinator Yves Hanosset. "So as we were planning the show we decided that movement had to be the basis."

The 22 works of art from the museum’s permanent collection from the 17th century to today (painting, sculpture, drawing, posters, street art, video and digital art, installations, figurative and abstract art) are divided into pairs.

For instance Pierre Alechinsky’s CoBrA de transmission (1968) is paired with Beached Fish by Frans Rijckhals (1643) to represent undulating. The other movements are soft, still, slow, energetic, bright, halted, frenetic, resonant, twirling and floating.

Each pair is equipped with a relaxation area which includes boxes the children open. One of them releases an smell and the other plays music to stimulate their senses in connection with the specific pieces of art.

Then there is Hop! Lab on Sunday afternoons. This is a long white room with one wall divided into three screens. On the screens, 15 dancers aged four to 74 demonstrate the exhibition's 11 adjectives of movement with dance steps and vocal sounds.

The children - and any adults who join in - take off their shoes before entering. Then they listen, watch and dance, from whirling like a dervish to making nonsense sounds to frenetic freestyle dancing.

On four Wednesday mornings there is a treasure hunt for children which takes them through the museum and on 4 February - the exhibition's last day before the museum closes for extensive renovation - there’s a children’s creative workshop.

Hop!, until 4 February 2018, Musée d'Ixelles

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Written by Richard Harris