Handmade Soft Play

Barrett, Ellie (2024) Handmade Soft Play. [Exhibition]

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An exhibition of textile sculptures at Lancaster Library, produced in collaboration with my Mum and 2-year-old daughter. I began a collaborative practice working with my Mum and my infant daughter. We explored overlaps between childcare, making, and different sources of skill and knowledge across generations. It imagines new possibilities for activating different experiences and circumstances as sites for artistic making. A series of textile sculptures were the result of this project. They bring together references to traditional patchwork and quilting techniques; participatory sculpture from the mid twentieth century; and sensory and soft play equipment. They are made to be explored and played with. Collaboration began with a series of research trips to sites linked to the textile industry in Lancashire, including Gawthorpe Hall and Queen Street Mill. Our research activities were routed in things my daughter could be involved in – walking, playing, foraging. This led to processes like natural dyeing and fabric painting. The textile works were designed and made by observing young children engaged in exploratory play, and presenting something which offered multiple ways of interacting, emphasising choice and open-ended possibilities. My daughter’s fabric painting, and objects she collected are part of the works. They are the result of play, and they facilitate it. The works were first shown at Lancaster Library on the 22nd and 26th April, 2024. They will make more appearances for exhibition and play.

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20 May 2024 12:55
Last Modified:
20 May 2024 12:55