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New exhibition explores the relationship between art, games and play

28 Feb 2018

24 March–2 September 2018 
Sat–Tues, 11.00–15.00
NAEA Gallery

A new exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) explores the relationship between art, games and play. Art, Games and Play: Don Pavey and Other Collections is drawn from theextensive collection of lecturer and author Don Pavey, and the work of other influential educators who are represented in the vast holdings of the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA), which is based at YSP.

Pavey was a post-war teacher who took an interest in Colour Theory. His research was sustained over 20 years as Senior Lecturer at Kingston College of Art and Design. His toy and art-based game collection features 329 items ranging from games, puzzles and pastimes, to a kinetic-art robot, all used as part of his teaching practices.

Evidenced through children’s pictures, book displays, artefacts, toys, puzzles and illustrations, Art, Games and Play provides context for a compelling and significant area of learning and demonstrates how play and games are central to the growth of understanding in children and adults alike. The exhibition provides an opportunity for a reconsideration of the relationship between art, games and play and the place they hold in shaping perception, knowledge, social interactions and cultural identities.

Through pre-eminent collections – including Don Pavey, Ben Blakemore, Stourbridge College of Art, Franz Cizek, Alexander Barclay-Russell and Islamic Art – Art, Games and Play represents diverse responses and celebrations of games and play as fundamental human behaviours. The art generated as a consequence provides a fascinating insight into aspects of human activity and their ongoing influences.

Accompanying the exhibition, Yorkshire Sculpture Park Photographic Grid (2018) is a new interactive and experimental project by photographer Dave Allen. Created using photographic contributions from visitors, the resulting map of YSP will be on display for the duration of the exhibition and will become a distinctive collection within the NAEA once the exhibition closes.

In summer 2018, another exhibition at YSP, by Thukral and Tagra, will explore art and play. The Delhi-based artists will invite families, friends and strangers to sit down together and play a game in an immaculately conceived installation to inaugurate the gallery space in the Park’s new visitor centre. Known throughout the world for their highly engaging and profound work, in preparing for the project Thukral and Tagra have taken inspiration from the Don Pavey Collection. Both exhibitions will form part of YSP’s ‘Season of Play’, a series of exhibitions, events and activities which invites visitors to play across the 500-acre landscape.

Providing exceptional art for everyone has been YSP’s goal since opening to the public in 1977. Its pioneering learning programme reaches over 45,000 people every year enabling access, understanding and enjoyment of art to a wide range of audiences, particularly those traditionally excluded from the arts due to social, economic, cultural or health inequalities. Art, Games and Play: Don Pavey and Other Collections acts as a reminder about the importance of arts and cultural learning in schools, museums and galleries.


Notes to Editors

About the National Arts Education Archive
The National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park was established at Bretton Hall College in 1985. Its inauguration was a direct response to the perceived need for key collections of materials to be brought together in one place; to secure their future as touchstones in the development of teaching and learning; and as an archive for professional reference and research. After 25 years as an independent charitable trust, the NAEA is now managed by YSP. The Archive’s original aims and objectives are in line with YSP’s overall mission, to enable access to, understanding and enjoyment of art. ysp.co.uk/naea

High Res Image Downloads


Franz Cizek Collection. Courtesy YSP. Photo © Sarah Beaumont

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Courtesy YSP. Photo © Sarah Beaumont

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