With blockbuster exhibition David Hockney: Ways of Working now open, children and young people visiting the Main Gallery can explore their creativity at our new Learning Stations.

With every new major exhibition our Learning and Engagement team sets out to create in-gallery resources inspired by the works on display. Previous Learning Stations saw little visitors arranging wooden models to mimic sculptures on display, completing a jigsaw puzzle of one of the artworks, and sketching Scottish Colourists-inspired works while in the gallery.

Budding artists can discover two interactives which explore the main processes and mediums of Hockney’s works. There is an opportunity to become an art detective in search of artworks in order to discover often overlooked elements within paintings, drawings or screenprints.

"It’s the very process of looking at something that makes it beautiful." – David Hockney

With the help of magnifying glasses, and guided by the instructions attached to them, children of all ages can explore the artist’s work in more detail. This approach not only emphasises self-guided learning, but also encourages slow looking, an approach that allows visitors to really spend time with an artwork, to make their own discoveries it and form a more personal connection to art.

There is also a staging space with two lightboxes and various shapes which allows kids to explore colour and shapes as a lot of artists do in their practice.  There is an opportunity to mimic Hockney’s bright, saturated prints located on the middle walls of the gallery space, as well as the freedom to create something entirely new and original.

We’d love to see what you come up with, so feel free to snap the scenes you create and share them with us on our social media channels.

It is important for us to be able to include these kinds of interactive elements to our rolling programme of exhibitions as they are paramount to lifelong development. Art activities not only encourage proactive learning at the participant’s own pace, but also build confidence and increase children’s self-esteem in the long run. Studies show that engagement itself offers a variety of benefits, from impacting on children's social and cognitive development to improving children’s emotional wellbeing.

Our Learning Stations are key in encouraging children and young people to engage, explore and learn about art in a fun and creative environment. Moreover, creative play is beneficial for people of all ages. Engaging in art activities can improve mental health, relieve stress or long-term health conditions, and connect adults to others and the world around them.

For those eager to get their creative juices flowing, our upcoming February half term programme takes inspiration from David Hockney for a full week of workshops where the whole family can get involved. There's a jam-packed programme of arts and crafts awaiting discovery, so just sneak a peek on our half term page for the full schedule!

David Hockney: Ways of Working is open in the Main Gallery until 19 April 2020. Adults can enter the exhibition with either a Day Pass or a Lightbox Membership, entry for under 21s is free.