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This swing, installed on campus at Bath School of Art was a piece that had hugely been inspired by other projects that had also involved swings being used as a tool for playful engagement, community play and social space intervention. The swing was put up during the cold winter months and wasn’t up for very long. Not a good result you think? Well no i wasn’t happy that it was taken down after a few days, but, by being taken down proved my issue with public space exactly.

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The swing looked rather ethereal in the sunlight when these photos were taken. The harshness of the winter seems nonthreatening when i think of playing outside. The nostalgia many people hold about their chilly days out playing, really wishing your wellies wouldn’t leak and worrying about the state of your raw fingers and wondering if you’d still have them when you arrived home. Not worrying too long though, the play would continue as you embrace the differences in temperature and the crisp grass crunching beneath your boots.

The swing, such a classic object in childhood memories and when you see a playground you expect to see swings. But why have to go to a playground to use one? The campus needed an injection of playfulness. Maybe my swing didn’t achieve that – if there was children around, it may have been popular. But are people scared to try? Are they afraid it would break? Anyhow, it came down because it was ‘damaging the bark’. Pah. The tree would’ve survived, the tree may have appreciated some play rather than just be walked past everyday.

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The red colour was influenced by The Red Swing Project, and i liked the thought of having one on campus after looking at Maayan Bar Yam’s work. Check him out. Red stands out obviously, but it reminds me of something bad, naughty, seductive. When i think of red alongside innocence it reminds me of the scene in Schindler’s List with the little Jewish girl wearing the red coat, walking far in the distance.

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The swing was about disruption of space that is usually used by adults, in standardized ways. The swing is a symbol of rebellion, innocence and an extension of play space beyond the ‘playground’. A child shouldn’t have play space thats designed in the interest of the adult, the adult’s fears and control needs to be left at the gate. And if it can be helped, have no gate at all, the more integrated space for all groups which is shared, the better. Fences are for adults.

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