Friday, 29 January 2016

An exploration of playfulness in contemporary art

You may have noticed that activity on my blog has been rather sluggish during the month of January.

The reason for this is that I have had to direct my attention away from the studio and focus on writing my Master of Fine Art dissertation which had to be submitted today.

The dissertation has been a huge challenge, but I have found it to be of great value to my practice.

I chose to write about playfulness in contemporary art, and identified three ways in which play can be said to exist within art, namely: the form of the artwork; the process of making the artwork and the way in which the audience experiences the artwork.

These key aspects were the focus of three contemporary practice case studies. Comparisons and contrasts were made between sculptor Phyllida Barlow, collaborative duo Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich, and Carsten Höller.

I identified how play relates to the artwork they make; the processes they engage in when making work and how the audience interacts with the work.

My experience of going to see their exhibitions, and in the case of Walker and Bromwich, being involved in one of their artworks informed the inquiry which was aided by an examination of secondary research.

I intend to make the dissertation available on my website at some point but, in the meanwhile, if you would like to read my dissertation, please do not hesitate to contact me.

My email address is helen.shaddock(at)

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