Childish Things and the talk last week at the Fruitmarket had a couple of unexpected surprises – 1 – bumping into people at the Gallery that I hadn’t seen for a while and -2 -the talk made me of think of work I was involved in 10 years ago, reminding me of key influences that inform my work today.

I had a chance to look round the exhibition before the talk, but not as much time as I had hoped. I missed the Susan Hiller work which was disappointing and I did want to see that – they had just closed it to set up for the talk. In the rest of the exhibition there were big names from the UK and USA with key works from a 25 year period (1983 -2008). My favorites were the Louise Borgeouis and Helen Chadwick installations – but in some ways they were probably always going to be even without seeing the other work. I find it hard to be objective about their work as I have found them very influential on my own practice at various stages of my life.

The exhibition is largely sculptural and explored  ‘the toy’ and childhood (either that of the artist themselves or how adults view and construct childhood). While there are some beautiful works to looks at it also highlighted a darker side of play and childhood.  Wandering round the exhibition I found it interesting to see similar themes around play and creativity that I have been looking at explored from a different academic viewpoint.

The talk

That link with play and creativity was explored a little in the talk but I felt not enough. However, I did enjoy the discussion as it began to make Winnicot slightly clearer for me. Personally I would have liked to hear more from Francesca Calvocoressi, as her presentation raised a number of questions which we just didn’t have enough time at the end to give justice to.

There are only 5 days left of the exhibition so visit if you can.

Social Inclusion Coordinator