Shop of Possibilities 1, Sceaux Gardens, South London, UK

Project Context

Project Brief

Making Play: adventures in creative play through contemporary art (2008-2011).
 
 Making Play has been an important part of the growth of the SLG’s education work in recent years, enabling the gallery to develop a long-term programme of involving local children and families in contemporary art. Funded by the Big Lottery’s Playful Ideas fund, Making Play is inspired by the possibilities of bringing together children’s play and contemporary art practice.
The project focuses on children from three key groups: those living on Sceaux Gardens estate behind the gallery; regulars at Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground and children looked after by Southwark Social Services. It is delivered through their collaboration with artists, curators, gallery educators, social workers, play workers, parents and carers and revolves around six artists taking up residency in a former shop unit on Sceaux Gardens Estate over a three year period. Each artist in residence runs practical workshops for children every Saturday afternoon and runs a large-scale participatory event at the end of their residency. (source: South London Gallery)
 
Andrea Mason (1 April - 1 September 2008), Jess Thom
(1 September 2008 - 1 April 2009), Janette Parris (1 April - 1 September 2009), Orly Orbach (1 September 2009 - 1 April 2010), Matthew Shaw (1 April 2010 - 1 September 2010),
 
Febrik (1 October 2010 - 30 April 2011) - The Shop of Possibilities
As the last of the South London’s Gallery’s six residencies to take place on Sceuax Gardens estate, Febrik’s project brief was to develop a proposal that could evaluate the past and also speculate on how the project might continue in the future. Re-interpretations of the idea of an interactive play space were at
the forefront of the questions explored.
 
The project asked many questions: can a space for ‘making play’ continue outside the gallery’s formal programme? Can it be owned and continued by the children and their families without that support? What kind of play will take place in that space? Will these activities draw on the work from the six residencies?
 
As the last of the South London’s Gallery’s six residencies to take place on Sceuax Gardens estate, the project brief asked to develop a proposal that could evaluate the past and also speculate on how the project might continue in the future. Re-interpretations of the idea of an interactive play space were at the forefront of the questions explored.
 
The project asked many questions: can a space for ‘making play’ continue outside the gallery’s formal programme? Can it be owned and continued by the children and their families without that support? What kind of play will take place in that space? Will these activities draw on the work from the six residencies?
The Shop of Possibilities: The Dynamic Play Library  
Date: 2010 - 11

Location: Sceaux Gardens housing estate, Peckham, London 
Collaborative team: Greg Sheng, Ramsey Yassa, Marwan Kaabour, Pippa Murrey, Lauren Willis, Elizabeth Graham 
Partners: South London Gallery
  
The Dynamic Play Library integrates a series of familiar programmes with the aim of generating a space for curious activities; the shop aims to be a compressed playground, exhibition space, library (or live archive), studio (invention laboratory) and a re-use centre (of everyday objects). Over the course of the residency, children’s formal and informal games (invented and inherited) as well new invented ones were discovered, documented, sited on the estate grounds and linked to the social context. The collection is seen as a accumulative social play archive, where every day familiar objects and their stories (documented within the children’s domestic environments) reveal narratives and practices about the estate as well as open up new possibilities for play and play material.
 
In this play context, the ‘re-use’ of loose parts has become part of the projects wider sustainability, both physically by re-cycling and re-using but also socially by exploring ideas from the  ‘Social Playground’ (Lefaivre; 2007) and extending play from the shop as a site to include the potential of the whole estate grounds and also to include their families (currently mothers) and the community (residents of the estate) in this process. 
 
 
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
Social play
 

The Shop of Possibilities looks at play from a social point of view, looking at how familiar social settings and domestic objects can become the sites for invention of play, as they are used in new and unexpected ways. researching these inventions reveals a hidden playground (the produce of the imagination and social interactions) and simultaneously set up a research into how these settings (site/culture/community) work and what is their specificity and practices. 


As the familiar is reused or used differently it becomes curious, full of possibilities for re-interpretation and creativity. In Making Play project, we look further into this relationship between the familiar, the curious and the possible through:
 
The notion of curiosity and familiarity 
The notion of ownership and continuity 
The notion of collection and reuse (of material and space)
The notion of invention and possibilities: (the compressed playground)


Visit the project blog
  1. Wall of Curiosity, a dynamic archive
    Wall of Curiosity, a dynamic archive
  2. Wall of Curosity, November 2011
    Wall of Curosity, November 2011
  3. Wall of Curiosity, January 2011
    Wall of Curiosity, January 2011
  4. Wall of Curiosity, April 2011
    Wall of Curiosity, April 2011
  5. Familiar Objects, December 2011
    Familiar Objects, December 2011
  6. Familiar Objects, April 2011
    Familiar Objects, April 2011
  7. Familiar Objects
    Familiar Objects
  8. Freinds at Sceaux
    Freinds at Sceaux
  9. Title 9
    Title 9
    Description

Archive of Curious Objects (Games):

  1. Archive of Curious Objects (Games):
    Archive of Curious Objects (Games):
  2. The Den
    The Den
  3. Archive of Curious Objects (Games):
    Archive of Curious Objects (Games):
  4. Wish in Tree
    Wish in Tree
  5. Archive of Curious Object (Games): Social Spoons
    Archive of Curious Object (Games): Social Spoons
  6. Archive of Curious Object (Games): Fishing Guess
    Archive of Curious Object (Games): Fishing Guess
  7. Archive of Curious Object (Games): Flour Boundaries
    Archive of Curious Object (Games): Flour Boundaries
  8. Archive of Curious Object (Games): Kitchen Catch
    Archive of Curious Object (Games): Kitchen Catch
  9. Archive of Curious Objects (games): Magic Bell
    Archive of Curious Objects (games): Magic Bell
    Archive of Curious Objects (games): Pet Fridge, Leaf Salad, Telephone Surprise
  10. Archive of Curious Objects (games): Archeological Dig
    Archive of Curious Objects (games): Archeological Dig
    Description
  11. Title 11
    Title 11
    Description