‘The plaything is the first initiation of a child to art’ — Baudelaire

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The Art of Play showcases amazing work from students from schools, colleges and universities in Bristol and Cardiff. Some 300 students and their teachers were invited to make a creative response to the theme of play.

The project brief gave no more detail than to ask for a creative response to play: no requirement or indication of research, material, technique or genre and no assessment criteria. It was left entirely to the participants how they interpreted play; is it a thing (toy), a game or is it play without playthings?

The students have loved being freed from detailed, prescriptive projects and their teachers have loved it too. The work is lovely but, more than that, learning outcomes have included the students learning to work independently and as a team, as well as developing real enthusiasm for a project.

The work on display ranges from a ceramic drum (that actually plays) to a pack of playing cards with cartoon characters and the board and pieces for a Discworld game, inspired by Terry Pratchett. Ceramics, animation, puppets, illustration and photography all feature.

Come and enjoy this feast of creativity!

27 May – 24 June

Wednesdays 13:30 to 16:00

Saturdays 11:00 to 16:00

Image: The Art of Play poster artwork