Monster Theatres Exhibition: Art Gallery of South Australia

Have you been to the Monster Theatres Exhibition at the Art Gallery of SA? We ventured there with two families and young kids in tow and can tell you what to expect!

Have you been to the Monster Theatres Exhibition at the Art Gallery of SA?

If you’re anything like my family, the extent to your “culture” lately has probably been watching Bingo and Bluey set up a fancy restaurant in their living room in the hopes of seeing Mum and Dad “smoochy kiss”.

If that sounds familiar, then you might be keen to try something a little more “high brow” one weekend or over the school holidays, like we were, and check out the Monster Theatres Exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

However… if by monsters, you’re expecting dinosaurs and dragons, this is not that. I can not overstate that!

A little something creeptastic

Our children are by no means art critics, and to be fair, neither are we, however it’s safe to say there was a little something creeptastic for even the littlest members of the crew we took along to get a gasp out of.

We visited the exhibition with a group of seven children from the ages of four years old to 10, and whilst admittedly there were some sections we had to move quickly through (and some sniggers behind hands with some of the exhibitions art featuring naked bodies) everyone left feeling only a little bit spooked and a lot inspired by the amazing art installations featured.

The security team dotted around the exhibition were also excellent at pointing out areas we might like to miss where the content might be less appropriate for little people.

Titled Monster Theatres, the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art invites artists to make visible the monsters of our time.

Curator Leigh Robb says ‘Monsters ask us to interrogate our relationships with each other, the environment and technology. They force us to question our empathy towards difference across race, gender, sexuality and spirituality’.

All subjects that, in our current climate, can open the door to some important conversations with our kiddos.

monster theatres

The exhibition title hints at a double narrative which also resonates through the multiple meanings of ‘theatre’.

An operating theatre is a room in which to examine, dissect as well as heal; it is also a theatre of war, a site of conflict where clashes between nations and ideologies play out all too frequently, but a theatre is also an arena – an active social space.


Curator Leigh Robb says ‘Monster Theatres proposes an arena of speculation, a circus of the unorthodox and the absurd, a shadow play between truth and fiction.

The title is inspired by a group of provocative Australian artists. Their urgent works of art are warnings made manifest.

These theatres are theirs.


The Monster Theatres Exhibition at the Art Gallery of SA has been extended until August 2nd.

For more information:

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