Activity: Curate a Collection

This activity is inspired by the collection of artworks in our galleries, and the way in which they are displayed.

Using items you have collected, or have connections to each other, you can create your own exhibition.

An install shot of sculptures on a white background at a gallery.
A series of different items placed on the ground of a gallery floor.
Three posters placed on the inside of a cave wall.

Let's get started.

Gather together items that interest you, or are connected to each other.

Maybe you have an interesting collection of autumnal treasures you collected from the park? Or maybe an interest in dinosaurs, unicorns or space?

You could even start a new collection by finding objects all of the same colour.

Take a look at Erica Verzutti’s sculptures here that are displayed in our gallery, both on the walls and on plinths. There are some interesting levels and angles in the display, you can try to do something similar.

Take a look around your house for interesting places . You might use, books, building blocks and cardboard boxes for different levels

You could create a poster, like the Boaster Poster activity by Ursula, to advertise your exhibition.

Once your exhibition is completed, invite family members to view it. You can give them a guided tour of the exhibits, explaining what they are, and why they are special. Ask them to write a comment in a visitors book.

Once they have finished viewing, they could create some art of their own that can become part of the exhibition.

Maybe a drawing, a story, a song, a dance, a costume or sounds? See how many ways your family can be inspired by your exhibition.

A leaf, a twig and two pinecones placed against a wall.
Three dinosaur figures increasing in size placed on a ledge.
Six different dinosaur figures placed on a ledge.
Stones, pinecones, feathers, leaves and conkers placed around the ledge of a room.
Conkers, twigs and rocks lined up on the ledge of a room.
A rock on top of a box with a pine cone and a rock with a box and pinecone placed on top.
A drawing of a dinosaur figure next to the same dinosaur figure.
Two dinosaur figures placed adjacent to one another.
Four dinosaur figures inside and above two boxes.

If you have a go at the activity, we’d love to see your creations on social media #NCmaking

Tips at home:

  • Make a clear space to work.
  • Gather all the things you want to display, but also think about what to display them on?
  • How can you make them look more interesting? Change the lighting, add colour?

This activity was created by Play and Learn Facilitator, Susie Lambert

An image of Play and Learn Facilitator, Susie Lambert.

Your support is vital

A small one-off or regular donation helps us present free exhibitions, events and education programmes across the city, up and down the UK, and around the world.