Spending time adrift in play is thoroughly gratifying and critical for perennial well-being. Although they are masters at it, we would argue that play is not the sole realm of children and shouldn’t be abandoned as a past time when we leave childhood. It is a fundamental human activity and can be the foundation of a creative practice. Many of the conditions that link previously unconnected thoughts are precisely those generated by play.
After spending time at the Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik developing a framework for these ideas, we felt like it would be fitting to continue this work with a wider group of people in our home setting. The group exhibition is an ideal format for a show about play as the artists ideas bounce off each unpredictably in a way not dissimilar to how we interact when we are playing. Sometimes there is a clear and precise moment when everything makes perfect sense and just as quickly it is gone, lost in a glorious cacophony of the senses.
Around 4 years ago, we began sporadically collaborating with our children as part of our art practice. This collaboration has taken a more solid form for the exhibition, Out of Bounds and the process has become quite explicit as Sascha and Jack’s direction of the play experience developed into a distinctive voice in the shared work.
For our contribution to the exhibition, we have extended and localised work established at ZK/U in Berlin 2016. Did you ask first?, was initially documentation of a participatory work with adults discussing restrictions put on their play as children. It has now taken shape as an almost overwhelming series of text works, painted on board, which catalogue all of the things we ask Sascha and Jack to stop doing or to be careful of doing on a daily basis. Each piece in singularity can be brushed off as necessary in creating a safe environment, however when seen on masse it is easy to imagine why children can feel like no one trusts their judgement in regards to making their own choices.
As part of Out of Bounds, Peachey & Mosig have also created a variant of their ongoing work Parklife. This sculptural based work takes found materials and uses them to create a form based on the archetypes of children playgrounds. In a previous version Parklife Berlin, they used the form of a see-saw and here with Parklife Blue Mountains, Peachey & Mosig use a child’s climbing frame as the basis for the work. These sculptures are inspired by the resourcefulness of adventure playgrounds, however the precarious manner in which they are put together makes them completely inappropriate as actual object for play, which again asks the viewer to examine complicated feelings around safety and the urge to experience new things.
Rachel Peachey invited Hannah Bath, Chris Carmody, Nick McKinlay, Heidi Axelsen and Hugo Moline to join Peachey & Mosig in responding to themes of play, restriction and risk. She was interested in sharing the experience with these artists as much for their approach to work as for their approach to life. She felt a kinship to what she perceived as their openness to engage in the play experience as adults and as artists and therefore felt they would have unique insights to share with their art in it’s own right and as part of the underlying discussion that naturally takes place in a group show.