Big Voices Children’s Art Matters

This exhibition is in the past.
12 September 2020- 8 August 2021
Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery, level 4

Children's art is powerful. Through art, children give voice to their knowledge and experience of their world. To have your voice heard is a human right. But, to make art, to tell your own story and to share this with others takes courage. Drawing from the Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM Children's Art Archive Big Voices celebrates this courage and creativity of children sharing their stories through art.

The Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM Children's Art Archive

This archive is a collection created by Dr Piscitelli, collector and curator of children's art, and advocate for children's cultural citizenship.  

The archive represents over 30 years of working with children on local, regional and international art projects. Exploring children's perceptions and observations of specific areas of their lives, this unique research collection tells stories of childhood across continents, across communities and across time.

Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM

In 1986, Dr Piscitelli founded the Children's Art Archive when she began using art to talk with children about their worlds, their futures and their rights.

Since that time, she has systematically collected and documented over 2,000 children's artworks from urban and rural Australia, China and Vietnam.

The Children's Art Archive was donated to State Library in 2005 to continue this commitment to collect and preserve children's works.

Explore the collection

Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM Children's Art Archive, 1986-2016


Online curator's tour

Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM Oral History and Children's Art Archive Digital Story

After the Fridge: Caring for children's artwork

An interview with Eric Stonehouse

Big Voices webinar

Behind the scenes

Summary: Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM Oral History and Children's Art Archive Digital Story


The Children’s Picture Diaries methodology aims to collect stories about childhood, as told by children in various formats:  in story, poem, film, drawing, painting or sculpture. The methodology encourages the development of critical and creative thinking, literacy, intercultural understandings, and personal and social capabilities.

This education resource is underpinned by the methodology developed in communities by Dr Barbara Piscitelli AM.

Grade Levels: Early Years
Subject Areas: Visual Art

"Children have the right to share freely with others what they learn, think and feel, by talking, drawing, writing..."

— Convention on the Rights of the Child

Share your child's voice

Invite your child to create a painting, poem, sculpture, collage, dance, anything they dream up, and share with us on Instagram with #slqBigVoices.

From the blog

Childhood revisited: cultural exchange through children's art

23 October 2018
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