Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Kiss Cuts: Taking Babies And Toddlers To Art Shows And Galleries

One of my favourite things to do is to go to galleries- especially the opening night parties! This weekend just gone Hunter, Lee and I went to Comb Art Space in Fortitude Valley to party with some of South East Queensland’s most fabulous street and lowbrow culture artists at the opening of the Kiss Cuts Sticker Art Show.

As a treat to their fans the artists had compiled lucky dip bags of their stickers, and the guests got to paste up the wall hangings (a collection of street signs)- which were then raffled off. Hunter had a sensational time putting on and patting down a sticker- which caused a minor spectacle of exploding ovaries from all the ladies in that corner. It was a brilliant night- the venue was jam packed, cheap beers were rad, fine tunes filed my ears and as a plus everyone was super kind to Hunter, with heaps of party people losing their mind over having a baby in the house.

Of all the awesome elements of the show, the calibre of the work was most exciting- despite the ever increasing pressure by our right wing redneck racist homophobic state government on the creative arts there are a few exceptional talents out there sticking it to the man: Josh ‘Kid 9’ Thorsen, Team Kitten and RyRy to name just a few. Every artist represented on the night should be super proud to be part of the front line of talented folk who, with their powers combined, will see Queensland alternative culture staying strong and sexy long after Mr Newman is out of office.

A note on taking babies and toddlers to Art Galleries

Any confined space full of music and people is sure to stress baby out. To help my little guy feel comfortable in such situations I ensure the following:
-          He has just woken from a nap,
-          He has a tummy full of a nutritious and filling meal- usually one that has meat, veg and rice/pasta to help him stay full longer,
-          He is hydrated,
-          He has comfortable clothes on, usually many layers so I can adjust his warmth level as we acclimatise inside, and
-          He has a clean nappy on before we enter the gallery.
I also speak sweetly to him, gentle comforting words that calm his rising anxieties as we arrive and settle in. I let him have a big look around and explain to him everything he can see, talking to him about art and how we make art together at home, and how this is art our friends have made to share with us because they are very generous and we are very lucky. I let him cling to me if he is feeling a bit fussy, but also encourage him to interact with others. If someone is in his face we end the conversation quickly and move on under the guise of checking out the art- and if Hunter starts to fret we go for a walk outside and get some personal space happening.
Anytime I take Hunter out in public people always comment on what a calm and happy baby he is. I am totally confident that this happiness is down to good planning and communication because after all, as perfect as he is in my eyes, he is still just a baby, and just like any person (big or little) he has moods, likes, and things that upset him. By ensuring all the basic ‘baby happiness’ bases are covered I get to enjoy a night out, and so does Hunter.

Kiss kiss,
Sandi D

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