Changing Play: Albert Potrony
Artist Albert Potrony worked with children aged three and four years old to explore the value and possibilities of free play in the school system.
Taking up residence at The Portman Early Childhood Centre, Potrony developed a kit of multiple parts using transparent sheets, reflective roll, foam tubes, circles and triangles sourced from DIY shops and scrap stores. Over 12 weeks, the children used and adapted the materials, and developed their own lines of enquiry. They used cord as a tool to tie-up adults, roofing material to create space rockets and mirrors as stepping stones.
Through conversations with children, parents, teachers and play workers, we asked questions about chaos and control and challenged what it means to be school ready.
As the project develops, Potrony translated images and conversations from the project into a play kit, designed for adult teachers to support them in forming solidarities with the children they work with, so that they can advocate for free play in the state school system.
Changing Play is an ongoing partnership with the Portman Early Childhood Centre in Westminster, which brings together artists, children, families and educators to reconsider the role of play in early years education. The programme celebrates existing practices and generates new alternatives for early years education.