Broadway Gallery invites children to explore craft through all creatures great and small

An exhibition designed to encourage children to explore the fascinating world of craft through a display of objects featuring animals will open at Letchworth’s Broadway Gallery later this month on Saturday 28 July.

Great & Small: Animals in Craft, is a Crafts Council Touring Exhibition in partnership with Broadway Gallery. This free exhibition, which will run until Sunday 14 October, opens the day after many of the schools in Hertfordshire close for the holidays and is the perfect activity for children to enjoy with their friends and families.

The exhibition aims to introduce children to the world of craft through the animal kingdom represented by a vibrant and colourful array of objects lent to Broadway Gallery by the Crafts Council. There is also an exciting programme of interactive activities and workshops planned for the summer. In September, the exhibition continues with a busy schedule of visits already planned with local schools.

Laura Dennis, Curator of Great & Small: Animals in Craft, said: The aim of the exhibition is to introduce children to contemporary craft as they meet the animals on display. Children are very open to new things. Some of the objects are brightly painted in colours that you wouldn’t usually associate with the animal depicted, but we’ve found that children immediately recognise and accept different and unusual representations.  My hope is that the grown-ups accompanying them will also be open to discovering the exhibition in this way.”

The stories and text that help visitors to navigate the exhibition have been designed for children and are placed at a level that makes them easy to read.

“Underneath a sculpture of a cat, there might be a question asking ‘Does this remind you of any cats that you know?’, and next to a fish you might be asked ‘Have you ever seen a fish as big as this?’” said Laura Dennis.

She added: “We love having children visit Broadway Gallery, and Great & Small is an exhibition that is specially designed to be a fun and stress-free experience for all the family.”

The idea to create an exhibition designed for children and their families has been inspired by the ongoing success of the free Family Arts Studio drop-in activities that take place at Broadway Gallery on the second Sunday of each month. The sessions are led by professional artists and are aimed at children aged 3+. Being messy is encouraged and the activities are inspired by the exhibitions on display in the gallery. The next Family Arts Studio takes place on Sunday 12 August from 10am-1pm.

Annabelle Campbell, Head of Exhibitions and Collections, Crafts Council, commented: “It’s been a delight for us to work with Laura and  Broadway Gallery again. Great & Small brings together works from across the collections, presenting an exciting exhibition that spans date, scale, discipline, not to mention the crafted creatures that feature! We are thrilled to be part of this project, with its focus on young audiences, that is making the works and craft accessible to children in a way we have not explored before. This showing at Letchworth will be the first, before embarking on a national tour.”

On Wednesday 8 August, families are invited to Craft Hands-On sessions where they can enjoy a hands-on exploration of animal objects with educators from the Crafts Council. After taking a closer look at beetle brooches, wooden snakes and ceramic fish, children will be invited to make their own piece of wearable craft to take home.

To find out more about the exhibition, visit