Studio File/influences

Play as a radical practice: 2016-2018

Serpentine Gallery, Albert Potrony

I read about artist Albert Potrony who worked with pre-school children as part of a project with the Serpentine. Potrony is a participatory practitioner who explores ideas of identity, community and language. Potrony worked with the children, carers and staff at the Portman Early Childhood centre in London. The aim of the project was to explore the importance of space for free play, Potrony questioned the effects of the standardisation of play and the need for free play in state schools. The idea was to clear an area of toys and introduce children to a kit of materials and allow them to explore. As an Early Years practitioner I am aware of the importance of learning through play. I then find it odd that once children start formal state education, opportunities for play become less frequent as they progress through school life. I have so many thoughts and feelings about this, some I will continue to mull over. I know many schools work with play charities to build free play opportunities into break times but this isn’t standard practice.

Card game created as part of a tool kit for educators. Features include provocations from multiple perspectives. A film was made to accompany the project.

Federico Herrero Artist, Costa Rica 1978-

Playground 2018.

Another project which has influenced my work and ideas, is Federico Herrero’s residency with the South London Gallery in 2018. Herrero worked with the residents on the Pelican housing estate in South London, to create an artwork for the children’s playground. I like that this project was very community based involving food, painting and music. Herrero described this piece as being connected to an experience rather than a decoration.

Litho print of Herero’s playground.
Herero and the Pelican community’s Playground, Pelican housing estate.

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