kendal murray

Show and Tell

Arthouse Gallery 24/02/2016

Through the workings of memory, toys have power as evocative symbols of time past. Collections of toys can be considered a celebration of the youth of the collector, symbols of personal inspiration from their past. They can also be seen to offer us other cultural stories about rites of passage and family relationships and histories, while also reflecting social attitudes to childhood.

Toys play an important role in a child's ability and motivation to understand and use pretend play, which performs an important role in equipping the child for the social community in which they live. A child learns about the language of imaginative substitutions by copying the actions of their parents. The child is thereby initiated into the symbolic language of toys, which they learn can stand in for other objects. This act of substitution is also re-enacted in the creation of a collection as a re-presentation of a past experience and the emotions generated in the collector by that experience. The collection allows those strong emotions to be continuously re-experienced by the collector.

The strategy of substitution to create fantasy scenarios has been used in the sculptural artwork for the exhibition "Show and Tell".

The artworks are based on the experience of play, dream like scenarios to represent memory, and toy forms. Elements such as tea cups, spinning tops, toy telephones, and timber games are combined with other household objects in a way to represent the way a narrative might be created in play, and as both an act of pretend play, and a remembered experience for the collector. The artworks speak to the experience of nostalgia, and a yearning for a time past. It's personal significance taking root, and growing with plant forms to create a new experience and an embellishment of memory.

Kendal Murray, 2016