Studio Cats is the Warhol and Weiwei inspired NGV for Kids installation this summer – it shares insights into the cats and studios of Warhol and Weiwei and touches on their art in a fun and interactive way that delights both kids and grown-ups.

When:  11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016.  Open daily 10am-5pm.  In January 2016, open 10am–8pm.

Where:  NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, MELBOURNE

Cost:  FREE

There is much to love about the latest incarnation of the NGV’s Studio Kids.  Not only does it give you a taste of the Andy Warhol + Ai Weiwei summer blockbuster exhibition (for FREE) but it’s bound to appeal to kids both big and little.

The box room is hands-on fun that involves building, stacking and negotiating.  The documentary about Weiwei’s studio and his cats is a bit of a chill out space (and the fluffy seating is a textural delight).  The Weiwei Clever Cats memes generation will keep the school age and above busy for some time (and who doesn’t love a chair with a tail!) and the Warhol Photobooths kept all of us enthralled – who doesn’t love pulling funny faces and having a cute cartoon Birman talking to you!  Added to all that,

Added to all that, the space is decorated with original artwork by both artists, walls have been covered with their wallpapers and there is plenty of photographic and bite-sized facts and insights to help paint a picture of what inspires these two influential artists.

Other highlights of the Studio Cats exhibition include rarely seen, intimate photographic portraits of Warhol interacting with his cats, by photographer Edward Wallowitch, and original drawings from Warhol’s 1954 artist book 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, which features hand-coloured drawings of cats.  Also on display is Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother, a 1960s small-press publication illustrated by Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new NGV Kids publication, Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei: An Art Book for Kids. Through stories, interesting facts, artwork images and illustrations, the publication explores the artists’ shared passions, artistic practices and mutual love of cats. The book also features creative activities for children to try, which have been inspired by both artists’ unconventional approaches to art.

Read my review of the Andy Warhol + Ai Weiwei major exhibition here.