Simon Nicholson on the theory of loose parts

In 1972 architect Simon Nicholson, the son of artists Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, presented the proposition that young children’s creative empowerment comes from the presence of open-ended materials that can be constructed, manipulated and transformed through self-directed play. These ‘loose parts’ permit children to become co-producers of art, space and culture alongside adult artists and architects. According to…

Early Years Fab Lab at The Bay Area Discovery Museum, California

“People need ‘tools’ that empower them to work independently, they need these tools and technology to make the most of the energy and imagination each has… society needs to project individual skills and voices, people need to move, to think and have the means to communicate with one another. People cannot make everything for themselves,…

Review: Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art for Kids at QAGOMA, Australia

In this post Simone Kling gives her top picks from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art for Kids (November 21, 2015 – April 10, 2016).  Simone is an artist and gallery educator who has worked in the learning departments at the Denver Art Museum (USA), The Ipswich Art Gallery (Australia) and the Queensland…

Interdisciplinary Work & Creative Innovation

I recently started a LinkedIn profile. It asked me to enter my job description. My brain then embarked on an existential journey of personal and professional identity. This post explores the joys and challenges of working in an interdisciplinary field and the potential it brings for creative innovation.  I, like most professionals working in the arts,…

The Ipswich Art Gallery, Australia

This post features a case study of the children’s exhibition programme at the Ipswich Art Gallery in Queensland, Australia.  From 2011-2015 I worked as a children’s curator at the Ipswich Art Gallery in Queensland, Australia. The Ipswich Art Gallery is a special place for children’s creative learning with a well established and renowned children’s exhibition…

Palle Nielsen, The Model & Play as Social Activism

In 1968 the Moderna Museet, Stockholm and artist Palle Nielsen staged The Model, a radical social experiment involving 20,000 children, an indoor playground and no rules. Within the ‘exhibition’ the act of children playing was used as an instrument for social and political activism. This post features a study of The Model and Nielsen’s work as an…

Why Play Matters

‘We play because we are human, and we need to understand what makes us human, not in an evolutionary or cognitive way but in a humanistic way. Play is the force that pulls us together.’ Miguel Sicart This post features a book review of Miguel Sicart’s Play Matters. Released as part of MIT’s Playful Thinking series,…

How to raise a creative child. Step One. Back off.

“Love is a better teacher than a sense of duty.” Albert Einstein Last week Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, published an article in the New York times on How to raise a creative child. There are many articles and papers that have been produced which outline the importance…

2015 Engage Conference: Young people working with art and artists

Late last year I attended and presented at the 2015 Engage Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference theme was focused on young people’s programs and partnerships with art galleries. You can read my reflections from the conference on the Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacies blog here.