Another wonderfully engaging afternoon conducting the interactive session on Saturday. Again I worked mostly with smaller groups, 2s and 3s, families, and the ages ranged from 5 to retirees, so a wide range of ideas was canvassed! Using last week’s dice throwing game as a starting point for exploration of the value of objects and how that is decided proved rich territory for discussion at a personal level – and beyond – of some of the exhibition’s themes.

Themes that emerged from the activities included: functional creativity (thank you Keith for sharing the ideas from your thesis) as opposed to straightforward “artistic” creativity; the Lost Gardens of Heligon in Cornwall; the value of the utilitarian versus the aesthetic and the meeting grounds between the two; what things in a person’s life are irreplaceable – this was particularly interesting when related to Takahashi’s art, as people were intrigued as to how the larger installations were stored for future display, and if they exist only in photos and notes to be recreated then what is it that the artist has created, and where does its value lie?

Jude and Ahmed (who works in sculptural collage) were very interested in the difference between the interactive activities and the more formal curatorial notes. Ahmed wanted to know who came up with this interactive approach, “because it’s fantastic, a fantastic way of bridging the work” and said it had made him think differently about the exhibition – so well done, interactive team (and thank you Ahmed)!

Final quotable quotes of the afternoon came from Christopher (7) – “I thought it was weird but imaginative”; Isabel (12) who said “from a distance it just looks like junk but when you get up close you can see how carefully it’s all been placed”; Will (5) who said it was “all great”, Jonathan (10) who said of Clockwork, “It doesn’t look like art but it feels like art.” Which was a brilliant summing up to a thoroughly engaging afternoon. Thanks to all who took time out to talk to me.

Posted by Ryan Coleman on Sunday 25 July 2010