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States of Play

A Crafts Council Touring Exhibition 

States of Play is a new Crafts Council exhibition for Hull City of Culture 2017 which shows how play shapes our lives and the world around us.

Work by sixteen makers and designers from around the world turn upside down the idea that play is the reserve of children. Instead it is revealed as a creative, social and political force that infuses all areas of life.

Science, business, health and technology are all waking up to how play drives new ideas. A playful approach gives us flexibility in uncertain times and it can help us deal with new situations with ingenuity. Hacker culture, new materials and the internet are putting power in to everyone’s hands by providing access to skills and knowledge to make and adapt things. 

The makers and designers in States of Play each take an inventive, sometimes subversive, approach to craft. These installations and objects invite us to play –  either physically or in our imaginations. They will delight, surprise and make you laugh. They include:

Chairs that seem improbably to balance on one leg, a lampshade that knits itself once the light is switched on, a robot that interacts with visitors, a ping-pong table that shows a game frozen in time, an arcade coin pusher which you can take a gamble on, and a video game exquisitely crafted from paper, card and miniature motors. 

Play is sometimes a serious business – but it is always fun.  In this immersive, interactive show, your eyes will be opened to how play forms the world around us. You’ll come away inspired to inject renewed playfulness into your life. 

States of Play launches Hull City of Culture’s Freedom season at the new Humber Street Gallery from 7 July to 24 September 2017.