This image is called ‘Play 1’. It was one object in a body of work called ‘Lunar Tide’— another self-chosen and self-directed art project. I am fond of this piece because it was the first one in the inquiry where the process flowed—came loose and danced. It was very enjoyable and felt like play.
Peter Gray, Ph.D, is author of the book ‘Free to learn’. On his blog he lists the following five characteristics of play:
(1) Play is self-chosen and self-directed; (2) Play is activity in which means are more valued than ends; (3) Play has structure, or rules, which are not dictated by physical necessity but emanate from the minds of the players; (4) Play is imaginative, non-literal, mentally removed in some way from “real” or “serious” life; and (5) Play involves an active, alert, but non-stressed frame of mind.
If you are interested here is the link to his blog:
Deciding to exhibit the work added way more structure to the play and the game got harder. Sending out the invitations was quite scary. Fear of exposure coming into the mix, especially in my left jaw and shoulder—they set in cement, poor darlings.They always remind me of the need to examine body and mind and to find out how to foster a playful spirit.
I grew up in an environment where making mistakes was bad. This became internalised as I am bad, stupid. ‘You are good for nothing’ was quite a common expression used by adults for children. Being screamed at or being derided for misunderstanding and not comprehending was common too. My attempt to avoid the above was to ‘disappear’, to hide—in clothes too big, behind a blank, serious mask—the little girl living in a snow dome—oh so cold and airless.
Time to shatter that glass. One helpful tool is the willingness to fail. Samuel Beckett wrote. “Ever tried, ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
If you want to see the exhibition and other work go to maritakohl.com