Over the last three months, Baby Art Club has been inspired by the theme of ‘Play!’ and our amazing exhibition ‘Make every show like it’s your last’ by contemporary artist, Ryan Gander.
Ryan Gander’s broad-ranging practice explores play, games and ‘the absurd’. He places great importance in our imaginations and marvelling our everyday surroundings; he even turned his daughters’ home-made den into a permanent artwork as a marble-dust and resin sculpture! It’s as if he has managed to make work with a child’s imagination; ignoring the grown-up barriers that often prevents us from using our imagination with such freedom when we are adults.
I combined these ideas by looking at how babies see their everyday (mostly domestic) surroundings as a constant source of discovery. Everything has the potential for interaction; for play, to eat or make a sound with, to lie under, to touch and smell.
My installation focused on ‘the kitchen table’ where I placed real fruits and vegetables, metal pots and pans, bowls of wet and dry flour around and underneath. Imagining myself looking through the eyes of a baby, I exaggerated the scale of the space with over-sized curtains that were spot-lit for a game of peek-a-boo with a difference. Najia, our BAC Musician Artist suspended spoons and cymbals within the space for babies to explore.
During this exhibition, I have found myself reflecting on my own childhood, I asked myself the question of what it was I enjoyed doing the most and remembered searching my bedroom wall for creatures and faces in the dents and markings of the breeze-blocks, playing cats-cradle and den-building. With these memories in mind, I included materials and prompts to evoke memories of imagination and play within the parents and carer’s of Baby Art Club too.
We’ve had a fantastic sensory experience with Ryan Gander and look forward to our next art encounters…