The walking playground: festival

My location shifted this week, to the parklands in the middle of the city. I have been working as a community educator and artist at a large festival for young children. During the festival the city parklands are reconstituted as marquees, flags, lanterns and art installations demarcate open space, pathways and trees, forcing new movements and route-finding.

Walking this space I took notice of the attempts by the wind, leaves, flags, people, dogs, birds and other things to find routes through the new architectures. Movements, colours, scents, encounters, amplifications.

The helicopter seeds blew everywhere, and were thrown up in great handfuls so they could display their whirling rotations. The coloured powder from the Holi Throw had a strange, flowery scent that carried across the park on the wind, forcing sneezes, coughing, watering eyes, and the patting of clothes to send the tiny particles of colour on their way again.

Although the festival architectures quickly disappeared the parklands are not returned to what was. The scent and colour particles continue to move about the space, and the bleached and flattened grass patches that emerge as the marquees are removed, are affect articulations of recent play.


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