permission to play

Join us in our critical* play as we make a growing queer/subversive sculptural form together as part of our research at The Andrew Brownsword Gallery for A Visible THREAD. You can take part physically in the gallery or virtually on Instagram with @seam_collective, @loubakerartist and @olybliss using the hashtags #AVTplay and #AVisibleThreadPlay.

We are focusing on the five themes of the residency:

  • Thread and experimentation
  • Thread as connection
  • Thread as conversation
  • Thread as thought
  • Thread and sustainability

We encourage you to use sustainable materials and explore ‘play’ in your own terms. All the materials provided in the gallery are damaged stock from local charity shops or seam members’ private stashes. You are invited to also bring or use materials from your own home, things you feel are representative of yourself, that you are happy to let go of and alter to contribute to the evolving sculpture in the gallery or to your own work.

When you have finished playing, we would like to know your thoughts on your play, either by writing your reflections on a cardboard label you made in the gallery or as part of your comment on Instagram.

*Discussing their separate interests – queering and subverting stitch – seam members Oliver Bliss and Lou Baker quickly recognised that the different theories they’re researching actually had many similarities, and that they were connected through play and rule breaking.

Lou Baker and Oliver Bliss are interested in experimenting with ways to subvert expectations of craft and textile-based practice. How we can take ourselves out of our comfort zones, making work in a public setting and relinquishing control through participation. They are particularly interested in applying theoretical approaches to their residency and looking at how their different perspectives intersect, how they inform the development of the work and how participants respond to this invitation to play. They’re hoping that through this collaboration we will all find out more about other people’s ways of seeing, thinking and making by working alongside one another, learning and unlearning.

To learn about the ideas behind permission to play and explore some theory on a deeper level see A deeper dive into permission to play.