This must be the place…

Thank you, yes, we are home – back downstairs from the loft to the gallery, where we began. And what a homecoming – we had more people than chairs. Which is why we got everyone out of them straight off the bat.

We started the night as all good nights start, by looking at an eyewateringly good menu. But if you were expecting swan you’d have been disappointed: this was a conversation menu, and the offerings where not calorie based but much more nutritious.


Topics included “what did you have for breakfast?”, and “Art: success or disaster?”. Topics not included were anything about chairs or comfort. Please, friends, discuss those in your own time.

Audience now primed for Round One, Aya Kasai began the Playground year with a Things I Sort of Know about the Contemporary Arts Research Unit. A new venture, Aya explained CARU’s ethos of collaboration, and of art practice as a form of research.


She shared news of their recent symposium Silencing the Silence and Nothing in Art, with a video of a piece from Playground regular and sound artist Lee Riley. From such interesting beginnings we can expect to see much more of CARU – in one form or another, be it symposiums, exhibitions or performances. Led by the eddies of diverse artistic practices I imagine CARU will shape shift in all sorts of wonderful ways. Aya is on the look out for more of you of the contemporary arts persuasion, so if you like them apples visit the facebook page (link above), and say hello.

And then we made everyone get out.

Nothing personal, of course, just some rearranging of the furniture. Emma Moxey took full advantage of us being inside her exhibition All the Familiar Landmarks (on in the gallery until 30.03.14) to ask a captive audience what we made of her paintings – or drawings – or drawing with paints, or painting by drawing: familiar mapping languages blown apart and set adrift.


Tasked with making a key to her maps, we set off around the contents of her head…

emma 2

emma 3

…the results of which are now sitting in the plan chest in the exhibition.


And there was only a *small amount* of renegade workshop-ing, with a certain blue shirted individual getting creative with some table top arrangements. Who knew.


(That was a Share My Toys in case you wondered…)


Tables were moved, chairs re-installed, we sought refreshment and were ready to go again. Instant Noodles were offered up, care of Playground insiders Tim and myself. Tim extended an invite to his and Lee Riley’s (you may remember him from the CARU bit above) new sonic spectacular Category Other, a monthly night about to begin at the Port Mahon. It will put the music of the spheres to shame. And I also went in for the plug, to promote a drawing group at the Pitt Rivers Museum, in which we get what can only be described as golden opportunity to draw selected artefacts from the Pitt Rivers’ collection outside of the cases, afterhours – meaning there are no rubber neckers, trying to cop a free eyeful of your sketchbook. The pilot has just ended, but all being well it will be back for another run of six weekly sessions soon.


All the way from Wales came Nick Meakins with a Things I Sort of Know, in which he shared a slice of his photography portfolio: really beautiful images of the Welsh countryside, combining his love of the outdoors (Nick is an Outdoor Instructor) with his love of photography. We got to see a piece of Wales through his eyes, as still images first, but then as a film.

A new venture for Nick, he picked out the patterning in the rocks and the clouds, used animation to trace over lines, intensify and add colour.

Nick’s enthusiasm for what he does, his interest in all the details of the expanses he climbs/runs/rides over certainly came across. I for one am now planning a trip to Wales. Stav? Not Stav – she likes her nature via a screen. In short, we’re all happy.


Thanks to all those who came along and welcomed us back. I’d like to take the liberty of saying a good time was had by all. Even without adequate seating.





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