During the Broken Toys Happy Hearts workshop on Monday 1st June I provided a place to make drawings using pencil, pastel and oil pastel; and another place to make 3D structures, using toys, masking-tape, sellotape, string and a junk box.
I am very grateful for all the help from Maija, Debbie, Wesley who collected the toys from Cancer Research, Julia who came to my door with a beg full of broken toys, Tom who took photographs during the workshop, and others.
This was a ‘phenomenological inquiry’ (in other words, learning through experience).
Impromptu free play
At some point we noticed that the women and one girl were sitting around the 3D table, making sculptures, drinking tea and conversing, while two boys were busy ‘making money’ and ‘stealing’.
Here is a brief transcript from a recording:
“What is it that you are doing? making money?”
“And what else?”
– “Stealing money”.
The presence of toys encouraged an imaginary play, with other materials or on their own. It is the boys’ free play that made the important connection between this workshop and the idea behind The Bureau of Exchange.
Through free play the venue became visible in its social context: shop, money, stealing, law, justice, desire and need. The rest of us became witnesses.