Play is an idea often reserved for the realm of childhood, for a time when responsibilities are fewer and the imagination is wilder.
But a new exhibition at Hull’s Humber Street Gallery has revealed the ways in which play is ingrained in our day-to-day lives – in our workplaces, in our politics, and on our streets.
States of Play featured the work of 16 British and international makers whose work falls under five central themes of wonder, possibility, freedom, game play and masquerade. The works on show offered an innovative approach to play, ranging from a game of table tennis frozen in time to a lampshade that knits itself. Some artists made specific reference to the local environment, and London-based design duo Silo Studio referenced Hull’s historic links to industry by creating an installation of metal pineapples in a playful nod towards the location of the gallery in Hull’s former Fruit Market district. Silo Studios worked with local manufacturing firms to galvanise metal pineapples made out of mesh and stainless steel, which were displayed both inside and outside the gallery. In the video below, featuring interviews with Silo Studio’s Attua Aparicio Torinos and Oscar Lessing, learn more about how they were made.
Many of the works in States of Play used everyday materials to emphasise the ways in which playfulness is embedded in our everyday lives. British artist Pascal Anson played with visitors’ ideas of reality and physics with his installation of chairs delicately balancing on one leg ceiling, seen in the photo below.