‘Play in public space’ installations

Spring 2013

Please Do Play at the Golf Course

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Installation on campus at Bath School of Art

Installation on campus at Bath School of Art

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These signs were made to order using the local council font that would normally be used in playgrounds on prohibition signage. I wanted the signs to look official when a passerby initially looked, but then would make you look twice to re-read the wording. The wording is light hearted and subtle, but demonstrates the absurdness of the real signs that are made. I removed the ‘No’ so it was giving permission but also not obvious to the viewer. The sign above was installed on the trim grounds of the campus, it was there for about two weeks. You can see the tennis courts in the background, indicating that there are areas for leisure, not that these areas are utilized. I think i have seen the courts used maybe once in the three years i studied there. Its strange how people will use areas that are designed for purpose, rather than use space that is around them already. These signs were made quickly by Frome Signs in Midsomer Norton.

Sign installed at Radstock Playground, Bath.

Sign installed at Radstock Playground, Bath.

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This is the second sign installed onto a fence outside a playground in my local area. The ‘Please Do Play Here’ statement is to highlight the issue of how children are cornered into specific areas to be able to play, so the space they have to play freely is being reduced by factors such as traffic, over-development, fears of abduction ie ‘stranger danger’ (which doesn’t exist) and overprotective parents who are influenced by an ‘everything-gives-you-cancer/’think-of-the-children’ media. The location was chosen not because it’s necessarily a terrible playground, many children enjoy this playground, but because of the high proportion of fixed equipment. The day this photo above was taken, was a wet one, so i thought the gloominess of the space despite the bright sickly colours, was relevant to the fence surrounding it. The sign seems positive and as if to give permission, but in this context its a quite oppressive sign that demonstrates our lack of trust we have in children, which is causing children of today to miss out on the freedoms their parents had.

Signs are extremely powerful and society conforms to a prohibition quite easily if it is written down on a ‘proper’ sign. Below are some examples of signs that influenced my own work:

Found signage in local area and in London, London seems to have A LOT of these type of signs

Found signage in local area and in London, London seems to have A LOT of these type of signs

photo by Lily Holloway 2 photo by Lily Holloway 3

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Bevington Close Street Play Day – November 2012

I started my third year looking at play space, loose parts in these spaces, and the magic of transient space. Transient space is a playwork term in which we describe the spaces that children will create that only them or others they’re engaged with in their play can be part of.  The  day involved making a film with a fixed tripod that would capture the movement in a frame that would show the changes in space that the children and their parents created. The event lasted 4 hours and me and my partner set up a gazebo for the camera to go under, then most of the cars were moved before it started. The road was closed officially from 11 am and opened up again at 3pm. The materials were spread across 3 parking bays, i found it interesting that the children did not ‘utilise’ the whole road. They hadn’t previously played out in the road because it was a very new street with majority of neighbours not meeting before then. The loose parts were kept quite ‘together’ and contained within these car bays. Ironic in that i had closed the whole road, yet they very slightly over-spilled into the road, which caused me to consider the social issues lurking beneath; conditioning and conformity. Children of today are brought up in a world that is said to be ‘dangerous’ and bad for you, the roads are busy,  people are ‘dodgy’ and you shouldn’t trust anyone. This anxiety of society is what’s doing damage to young people, they grow up in an environment where they can’t make their own choices anymore and are trapped into adulterated fears.

The space in which they did play, was made up of various ‘projects’ that from the adult perspective seemed chaotic possibly, ‘everyone was playing with everything’. But many playworkers would disagree with this assumption. I noticed many groups formed amongst the parts and leaders had been appointed by no means of asking or telling, it just happened. The children would create scenarios in which they had issues to solve, roles to be played out. The play is work. They worked hard. It meant a lot to them from which i gather from their emotional response. I took away everything afterwards and kept some remains that i wanted included into my Ruin exhibition and for use in further pieces. The kids still ask today, months on, when are we doing it again? I say August, ‘Bring a Cake and Play Day’ 🙂

In November 2012 I organised a street play day, providing a large variety of 'loose parts' for the children to play with.

In November 2012 I organised a street play day, providing a large variety of ‘loose parts’ for the children to play with.

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The day brought together neighbours, created the start of relationships and most importantly set the foundations for a sense of  normality to street play and in general, children just being in public.

To see information about the Street Play Day see my blog entry on the event.

National Play Day is on the 7th of August 2013, for more information on how to organise your event or street play event see these websites:

http://www.playday.org.uk/

http://playingout.net/

http://www.playengland.org.uk/

If you want advice from myself or more links to local organisations in Bath and North East Somerset, email me on lilyrosina16@gmail.com

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Decay Studies

Fine Art 2nd year event

Second Year assessment

Fruit bowl sculpture, still-motion video on monitor, six drawings with light source

The Art of Looking

My apple studies “The Art of Looking”

Apple No. 2, acrylic,14.5 x 21cm

one drawing from the Art of Looking series. the drawings are part of my recent work which will be on show for a private viewing at Bath School of Art, Sion Hill – 16th May 5-8pm.

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