Exploring Sound and Colour At Pipilotti Rist’s Sip my Ocean

  • Family

By: Kylie Purtell, ellaslist explorer

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) located at The Rocks, Sydney really is a school holiday hotspot. With an abundance of activities from school holiday workshops & programs, and thought-provoking exhibitions, a visit to the MCA is always a great way to keep the kids entertained.

Sip my Ocean

These school holidays we visited the MCA to check out one of their current exhibitions, Pipilotti Rist’s Sip my Ocean. A visual feast, Pipilotti Rist combines amazing video installations with sculpture and mixed media to create a colourful landscape that will appeal to both kids and adults alike.


Lunch With A View

We started our afternoon with a visit to the top floor of the MCA to have lunch in the MCA Café. The MCA Cafe has one of the best views in the city as it overlooks Circular Quay, with views of the Harbour Bridge and (when there isn’t a cruise ship in port) the Sydney Opera House. It’s a really great spot and the kids will delight in people watching, on the weekends there’s no shortage of street performers to spy from above, plus a delicious menu to compliment the view. For the kids there’s the usual items on the menu but by far the best value is the Kids Lunchbox at $14, which features a ham & cheese wrap, fresh fruit, a brownie and a bottle of apple juice. For the adults there’s a good selection to choose from with the house special black bun burger being particularly good. After finishing off our meal with a scoop of ice cream (for the kids) and a delicious iced coffee (for the adults), it was time to head down and check out the exhibition.


Kaleidoscopic Colour

The Pipilotti Rist exhibition requires a ticket for entry – only $22 for adults, $17 for youths and kids under 12 go for free – tickets can easily be bought online or from the front desk on Level 1 (more info & prices here).From the moment you enter, you’re surrounded by colour, moving visuals and interesting objects. There are large video projections on the walls, with comfy cushions set up on the floor, these were a definite favourite for the kids (4 & 6). Here we could lie down and watch the videos play and enjoy the colour and music.



By far the girls' favourite part of the exhibition was the moving projections on the floors, and in one section, on sheer, hanging material. They also loved the room filled with beds that you could lie down on to watch video projections on the roof. With the variety of sounds and colours, we spent a good 2 hours in the exhibition exploring the mesmerising artworks on display.


Laze Around In Art

For the adults, it’s a compelling experience and the lounging areas are a great place to stop and rest a while. All in all, we really enjoyed the exhibition and we’ll be recommending it to our friends. We visited on a Sunday afternoon which was quite busy, but the fact it’s a ticketed exhibition keeps it manageable and easy to get around.


The location of the MCA makes it a particularly appealing place for a day out with kids as there is plenty to explore in The Rocks & Circular Quay areas. It’s also very easy to get to, either by catching the train to Circular Quay or driving. There are plenty of parking stations around, if you visit on the weekend the Sydney Opera House car park on Macquarie Street has $15 all day parking.


But Wait, There's More

Due to popular demand, the MCA has extended opening hours until 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 8 February. The exhibition will also be open late during its final days from Wednesday 14 February – Sunday 18 February. Treat the kids to a twilight visit or make a date night of it. To find out more, click here.

While you're there, why not drop into the fun, free and interactive Contemporary Kids program this January during the school holidays? More info can be found here.

Oh, and don’t forget, Sundays with Pipilotti, the free family space is now open on Saturdays AND Sundays!


Please note there is partial nudity in some of the artworks in this exhibition. Pipilotti Rist’s work celebrates many things that encompass the joy of being alive – water, nature, sky, skin. The human body is part of this, existing and living in the natural world. If you have any concerns, ask an MCA Host - they can tell you more and which works to avoid if you prefer.