Curated by the Crafts Council, States of Play at Humber Street Gallery invited you to be playful with pieces of art, from the fascinating to the bizarre.
Visitors were able to try their luck on a slot machine, create waves with their breath, or meet Combover Joe – the exhibition’s resident robot.
Through the eyes of 16 international makers and designers, the exhibition looked at how playfulness shapes our lives and the world around us, presenting play as a way of being, of understanding the world and giving it form. In an era of screen-based games, it celebrated the physical element of play in ways that delight, provoke and surprise children and adults alike.
Exploring play through five core themes and different states of play – wonder, possibility, freedom, game play and masquerade – the makers and designers each took an inventive, sometimes subversive approach to craft.
Artists including Richard Slee, Mischer’Traxler and Atelier NL created a world of fascinating objects, like a lampshade that knits itself and an entire wall of galvanised pineapples.
Launching Hull 2017’s third season, Freedom, the exhibition celebrated the importance of imagination and freedom through play as an agent of change with the power to change the world.
Installation view, 2020. Jamie Crewe, Solidarity & Love. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2020. Photo by Jules Lister.
Jamie Crewe, Solidarity & Love
Proboscidea Rappings, Ollie Dook
Wrapping, Nnena Kalu
Frances Disley, The Cucumber Fell in the Sand. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2019. ©Jules Lister
Frances Disley: The Cucumber Fell In The Sand
Jade Montserrat: Instituting Care
Ella Dorton, Journey to the Centre of the Couch (Couches & Other Good Ideas). Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2019. © Jules Lister
Journey To The Centre Of The Couch (Couches & Other Good Ideas), Ella Dorton
The Witching Hour
Keisha Thompson: Man on the Moon
IETM Hull 2019 Artistic Programme
Measures of Life by The Lumen Prize for Digital Art
A Duckie Summer Tea Party / LGBT50
Installation view, 2020. Lucy Clout, ZZZ. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2020. Photo by Jules Lister.
Lucy Clout, ZZZ
Dance Exchange Hull
© Chris Pepper
Hull Takeover: Previews
Image: Athena Papadopoulos, A Tittle-Tattle Tell-a-Tale-Heart, courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist 2019. © James Mulkeen
A Tittle-Tattle Tell-a-Tale Heart, Athena Papadopoulos
Suki Seokyeong Kang
Place To Place: Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme
Jamie Reid XXXXX: Fifty Years of Subversion and The Spirit
Contains Strong Language
Act VII: Land of Green Ginger
John Grant's North Atlantic Flux: Sounds from Smoky Bay
Hull Truck Theatre
The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca
Equanipolis, Aniara Omann
Image: Installation View. Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Jones (MSR FCJ), Ecstatic Rituals.
Emerging Cultural Leaders Mobility Bursary 2019 - Information Event
PRS Foundation New Music Biennial 2019
Image: Cut, Humber Street Gallery 2019. ©James Mulkeen
Cut, Richard Houguez & Graham Jones
Candoco Dance Company Face In by Yasmeen Godder Photography by Hugo Glendinning
IETM Hull 2019 Plenary Meeting
Urban Legends: Northern Lights
Home Town Story
It Takes a Village