The Great & Grand Rumpus

Free exhibition
11 December 2021 – 10 July 2022
slq Gallery, level 2

Explore The Great & Grand Rumpus, a sculptural, digital, and immersive installation.

The exhibition origins lie in the limitless imaginations of children. The fifteen-month long community engagement project invited children from around Brisbane to expand their imaginations, and in doing so dream up a collection of the most fantastic, astonishing and magical things you could expect to see.

A warning to all who enter these doors
The brave who pass through Wobbly Tooth's jaws
Respect The Grumpus, yes that's the name
For when you enter this world, you're never the same
Through what is old, find a new state of mind
So open your eyes, who knows what you'll find?

The Making of The Great & Grand Rumpus

Explore the journey to create The Great & Grand Rumpus exhibition with the community, schools, universities, and makers.

The Well

Dive into The Well and explore ideas and imaginary creatures from children’s imaginations.


Group of people looking Dragon  the Koi

The Great & Grand Rumpus curator tour

This summer step into a wild world of wonder, wackiness and whimsy. Explore large cardboard sculptures scaling more than 4.5 meters high and watch as they are brought to life by interactive digital projections. Join the curator of The Great & Grand Rumpus for a tour of this sculptural, digital, and immersive installation. Tours are free and space is limited. Book now to reserve your place.  Subscribe to be the first to know about our future events.  Presented as part of The Great & Grand Rumpus exhibition. 

The Great & Grand Rumpus

Every day · 10am–5pm
Imagine a world where one-eyed creatures can shoot laser beams and cows are taller than giraffes - in the land of imagined things at The Great & Grand Rumpus, anything is possible. Step into a wild world of wonder, wackiness and whimsy. Explore large cardboard sculptures scaling more than 4.5 meters high and watch as they are brought to life by interactive digital projections. Get hands on and craft your own mythical creation at The Great & Grand Rumpus. The land of the rumpus is a haven for makers, creators and artists alike.  Allow your inner child to experience the limitless imagination of make-believe places and see how over 1000 innovative storytellers just like you have crafted and sculpted mythical worlds and creatures based on ideas workshopped by kids over the last 18 months. The Great & Grand Rumpus brings the nonsensical to life, the unreal to reality and LOUDNESS to the Library!   Run wild The Great & Grand Rumpus

Hack the Rumpus

Tomorrow · 5–8pm
Join us in the State Library Gallery for a reimagined evening of making, creating and community. Surrounded by incredible creations from our 15-month community engagement project, you will be inspired by the imagination of children that have been brought to life by makers just like you at The Great & Grand Rumpus. See how the exhibition can evolve as we come to the close of this valued community project and work towards turning it into something extra special. Available gear will include: Laser cutters 3D printers Sewing machines Soldering equipment No experience or bookings are necessary, just come along, start a conversation and find out how the equipment works and make something great in The Land of the Rumpus.   Please note, the Fabrication Lab and The Edge are currently closed as we work through ongoing flood recovery.

Play Time in The Corner

Every day · 11am–12:45pm
Open-ended play sessions for children of all ages.   From dress-ups and puppets, cool construction kits and sensory toys, each of our play kits has been specially selected to inspire children (and babies!) of all ages to explore their senses, come up with games and get creative. Step away from your regular routine and the distractions of home into a space just for you and your family or invite your friends for a special play date!  Play Time takes place daily at 11am - 12:15pm. No bookings required.

Library Shop

How Was That Built The Stories Behind Awesome Structures illustrated book cover

How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures
Roma Agrawal

Two wooden pencils with ruler markings

Pencil Ruler

Out of the Box 25 Incredible Craft Projects You Can Make From Cardboard book cover

Out of the Box: 25 Incredible Craft Projects You Can Make From Cardboard
Jemma Westing

Mr Shahas Marvellous Machines book cover

Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines
Emily Robertson

Share your experience

Come and play at The Great & Grand Rumpus and share with us on Instagram with #slqGreatGrandRumpus.




Explore the creative learning resources used in The Great & Grand Rumpus with State Library's Curriculum Connect.

From the blog

Behold! The Great & Grand Rumpus 2021 has begun!

31 March 2021
This extraordinary project is a celebration of creativity, community, and is happening throughout 2021. In workshops happening at State Library and in schools throughout the year, project participants will work away to imagine, design and build an extraordinary public exhibition of large-scale sculptures and immersive installations. 

The making of a giant imaginary shark

30 August 2021
If you’ve ever admired the creative thoughts of children, and wanted to bring their ideas to life – come behind the scenes at The Edge’s Fabrication Lab and learn how we’re building a giant cardboard shark!

Making your way with sustainable design

27 September 2021
Cardboard boxes are everywhere.

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