Australia’s iconic awesome foursome are as famous as you can be in children’s entertainment, and this month their legend will continue to grow with a large-scale exhibition at the Powerhouse. In celebration of the Wiggles’ 20th anniversary, the museum is pulling out all the stops with a show full of razzle-dazzle. And it’s not just for kids. “The exhibition is aimed at two audiences,” explains curator Peter Cox. “Adult audiences will be intrigued by the history of the Wiggles and the entertaining and engaging activities are designed for young children. We’re using objects, images, video, screen-based multimedia, and lots of hands on interactive displays to salute the Wiggles themes and characters.”
Children can sing along to ‘Fruit Salad’ while generating their own version of the breakfast food in an onscreen game; take a virtual ride in the Big Red Car; and it’s a no brainer that they’ll be able to wake up Jeff – if their little lungs can scream loud enough to trigger the volume-sensitive soundwave device. The exhibition will also feature a life-size model of Captain Feathersword’s ship, so if it takes their fancy, the little ones can join the pirate crew to hoist the sail and raise the flag.
Despite all the fun and games, Cox assures Time Out that education hasn’t gone out the window: “From the early stages we’ve involved our education specialists in the exhibition to ensure that each experience will be consistent with the way learning opportunities are identified in early childhood theory.” For example, kids can match the musical instrument with the sound it makes, learning as they go. “If children come away having had a great time and achieved a degree of learning, then we’ve pretty much achieved our goal.”
There’s plenty for baby boomers and Generation X to learn too. “People look to museums to be the keepers of collective memories,” Cox explains. So young adults will be bouncing along to songs of their (not long gone) childhood, and older audiences will be intrigued by the band’s blockbuster success and extensive charity efforts, elements that the exhibition also foregrounds.
The show opens in September and will running for two years before setting off on a three-year national and international tour. We doubt there will be a young family anywhere in Sydney (or in any other city for that matter) that will want to miss it.