mapiya lumi | around here opens

Visitors in the gallery

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) has today officially opened a major new offering for young visitors and their families, the gallery mapiya lumi | around here.

Developed for children aged 0-7 years, the gallery is TMAG’s largest long-term exhibition project since the 2013 Redevelopment of the museum.

mapiya lumi’ means ‘around here’ in palawa kani and reflects a focus in the exhibition on a sense of home and place that is unique to the islands that make up lutruwita/Tasmania.

Designed with the child’s perspective in mind, the gallery incorporates a dedicated space for little ones aged 0-3 as well as a range of areas for children aged 3-7 to explore.

It introduces Tasmania as ‘a little big home’ and invites visitors to journey through a place of deep oceans, soaring rock columns and tumbling waterfalls, while also discovering tiny nests, comfy kitchens and fire pit stories.

TMAG Director Janet Carding said the museum was delighted to be able to officially open mapiya lumi | around here.

“The gallery has benefited from a worldwide survey of exhibition spaces for children and has resulted in a uniquely Tasmanian experience that pays tribute to what makes this place home,” Janet said.

“It brings together our shared cultures, landscapes, artistic expression and history and reflects a child’s love of the intimate and their wonder at the universe.”

TMAG consulted with early learning, educational and children’s advocacy groups in the development of the gallery, and also involved the members of the TMAG Children’s Reference Panel to ensure the voice of children was heard throughout the design process.

Baby in the gallery

Over a dozen local Tasmanian artists were commissioned to provide a range of works for the new gallery, from furniture to dolls houses, and from large murals to an audio work of a lullaby sung in palawa kani.

mapiya lumi | around here was designed by Melbourne and Canberra-based firm Thylacine Designs and fabricated by Tasmanian firm Soda Projects who subcontracted many local tradespeople, providing a boon for local craftspeople in the wake of the impact of COVID-19.

The exhibition design features four key zones and moves from a coastal to a mountain landscape, centering around four themes: ‘first homes are dome homes’; ‘homes have histories - homes have landscapes’; ‘an island home’ and ‘who is home in the dark?’

In keeping with the key audience, text throughout the gallery is kept to a minimum, instead there are opportunities to actively explore with all the senses via many interactives including a climbing tree, waterfall slide, rainbow generator and crawling tunnel.

“We hope our younger visitors will experience the new gallery as a starting place for a lifelong engagement with TMAG, and come to see mapiya lumi |around here, and the rest of the State Collection, as truly their home,” Janet said.

mapiya lumi | around here is open at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery from 30 April 2021. Entry is free, however bookings are required. There are five bookable sessions available each day during TMAG’s regular opening hours. To find out more and to book, visit this page.

Grandfather and grandchild in gallery

Image details:
(top) mapiya lumi | around here introduces Tasmania as a ‘little big home’ and invites visitors on a journey through the state’s unique landscapes
(middle) Babies can rest in woven nests with their carers and listen to a lullaby in palawa kani
(bottom) There are areas for active exploration throughout the gallery, including a climbing tree