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Express Yourself: Romance Was Born for Kids

Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales of Romance Was Born
Photo: Daniel Boud

A kaleidoscopic series of whimsical and otherworldly interactive installations by Sydney-based fashion house Romance Was Born will open at the National Gallery of Victoria in October.

The commission will see designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett fill a labyrinthine gallery space with fantastical environments that will engage visitors. Located in the NGV’s new children’s gallery, the commission further develops the design duo’s richly imaginative aesthetic and expands their field of play into the children’s arena.  

“The immersive spaces that we are developing will encourage visitors and children particularly to engage with art and design in new and surprising ways. We want to encourage visitors to express themselves creatively through the lens of colour, adornment and playful self expression. Children can break conventions and have creative free reign,” said Anna Plunkett of Romance Was Born.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, “Expect the unexpected as Romance Was Born create a bold and vivid new space in which visitors can experience their playful, often eccentric and always brilliantly colourful imaginations and designs. Art and fashion will come together in a lively, flamboyant setting where visitors of all ages will be encouraged to explore themes of fantasy and vibrant imagery.”

“This exhibition is central to the gallery’s refreshed approach to children’s programming, enabling children to engage in the artistic process in innovative ways.  It’s also about showcasing the very best in contemporary design practice and who better to do this for us than the hugely talented Romance Was Born, who will put their unique aesthetic touch on our children’s gallery,” said Mr Ellwood.

A vibrant children’s activity book is being produced to coincide with the exhibition along with a diverse range of public programs for children and families. 

Express Yourself: Romance Was Born for Kids will be on display at NGV International from 17 October 2014 to 22 March 2015. Open 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays. Free entry.

About Romance Was Born

Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales met whilst studying fashion design and launched their Sydney-based label in 2005.

Otherworldly prints form the basis of each collection. The designers take inspiration from artists, often working collaboratively to create a new language for each season. The pair is recognised for exuberant and theatrical runway shows, where unusual dreamscapes are created. Previous collections have included collaborations with artists such as Del Kathryn Barton, Stephen Bush, Nell and Kate Rohde.

Romance Was Born have also collaborated beyond fashion as guest curators in museum and theatre settings, such as when they meticulously rearranged the rooms of Fairhall House Museum for The Bride, The Ship and The Wardrobe in 2012. In 2011 the Sydney Theatre Company commissioned them to design costumes for their production of Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness and, most recently, they have worked with artist Rebecca Baumann on the exhibition Reflected Glory at Carriageworks in Sydney.

Express Yourself: Romance Was Born for Kids at the NGV is their first exhibition specifically designed for children.

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