Institute for Creative Arts Practice – Newcastle University

‘ENTWINED Online Assemblage’ celebrates the end of the two-year, multi-partner programme ENTWINED:Rural.Land.Lives.Art.

The project is organised by VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities). It comprises six mixed-length residencies and associated artist projects. Each artist’s practice explored different aspects of what makes a ‘place’, revealing the interconnectedness of rural land and rural lives.

This asynchronous conference is hosted by Newcastle University’s Institute for Creative Arts Practice.

These conference videos seek to interrogate the interconnectedness of rural land and lives. Invited speakers include artists and academics that are concerned with rurality and/or what makes ‘place’.

We hope you enjoy meeting the artists and academics and hearing about their work.  

Conference Videos

1.     Introduction to the conference by Helen Pailing, VARC Project Director
View film here

Section 1

2.     Leandro Pisano, curator, writer and independent researcher. Leandro is interested in intersections between art, sound and technoculture and looks at rurality on a local and global scale.
View film here

3.     Esther Peeren Professor of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam  Esther is working on a global project called ‘Rural Imaginations’ 
View film here

4.     Dr Menelaos Gkartzios, Reader in Planning & Rural Development, Newcastle University, talks about the rural and artistic practices, examples of visual arts in the global countryside (Japan) and residencies, mobility and rural place-making.
View film here

5.     Artist Henna Asikainen presents a video about her project ‘Delicate Shuttle’. Henna’s artwork is concerned with humans’ complex relationship with nature and its intersections with social justice, climate justice, migration and notions of belonging.
View film here

6.     Mike Pratt, CEO Northumberland Wildlife Trust, speaking from Kielder and talking about the Wildwood Project at Kielderhead and the importance of ‘repair, restoration and rewilding, both of ourselves and of places’.
View film here

7.     Artists Rob & Harriet Fraser present a video reflecting on their project ‘Sense of Here’ in Cumbria’s Lake District.
View film here

8.     Artist Laura Harrington introduces ‘Fieldworking: Artist Camp’, a project by Laura Harrington with Chris Bate, Ludwig Berger, Sarah Bouttell, Luce Choules, Simone Kenyon, Fiona MacDonald, Lee Patterson, Meredith Root-Bernstein and Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve.
View film here

9.     Professor Ysanne Holt, Department of Arts, Northumbria University presents ideas from her ENTWINED essay ‘Tangled Up in Place’
View film here

Section 2

10.  ENTWINED Associate Artist Kate Liston in conversation with Roy Claire Potter. Roy is an artist working between performance and writing and Senior Lecturer, School of Art & Design, Liverpool John Moores University.
View film here

11.  ENTWINED Associate Artist Andrew Burton, Professor of Fine Art, Newcastle University in conversation with Ranti Bam. Ranti is a British-Nigerian artist who works in ceramics.
View film here

12.  ENTWINED artist Bridget Kennedy in conversation with Professor Ysanne Holt, Department of Arts, Northumbria University
View film here

13.  ENTWINED artist Shane Finan in conversation with Professor Lynne Boddy, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.
View film here

14.  ENTWINED artist Catriona Gallagher in conversation with Michael Pattison, Creative Director, Alchemy Film & Arts
View film here

15.  ENTWINED artists Robbie Coleman & Jo Hodges in conversation with Chris Fremantle. Chris is a producer, researcher, writer and artist.
View film here

16.  ENTWINED artist Sam Douglas in conversation with Dr Frances Rowe, Research Associate, Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University
View film here

17.  ENTWINED artists open discussion at the ‘ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.’ exhibition at Highgreen, September 4th 2021 chaired by Susan Trangmar
View film here

‘ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.’ is funded by Arts Council England National Lottery Funding, Visual Arts in Rural Communities, Newcastle University (Institute for Creative Arts Practice), Northumbria University (Arts and Visual Culture), Northumberland County Council, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and Tarset & Greystead Parish Council. The project runs from June 2019 to December 2021.

Invaluable in-kind support has been provided by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Unison Colour, The Heritage Centre at Bellingham, Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy, Art Circuit Touring Exhibitions, University of Sunderland (WALK; Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge), Highgreen Estate, Northumberland National Park Authority, Tarset Village Hall, Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland Archives, Natural History Society of Northumbria and Tarset Archive Group.

For more information about ENTWINED:Rural.Land.Lives.Art and VARC please visit the website

University of Chicago Biochemist: All Living Cells Are Cognitive | Mind Matters

Future debates over origins of intelligence, consciousness, etc., may mainly feature panpsychists vs. theists rather than materialists vs. theists.
— Read on

Anil Seth Finds Consciousness in Life’s Push Against Entropy | Quanta Magazine

How does consciousness arise in mere flesh and blood? To the neuroscientist Anil Seth, our organic bodies are the key to the experience.
— Read on

The science behind why hobbies can improve our mental health

Great article form Ciara McCabe from The Conversation (links below) with a UK focus, about having a hobby as a way to improve mental health. Ciara has provided lots of links to other sources including SAGE, and other great articles from The Conversation.

My experience reflects this, in that I found art making and walking art pleasurable, and the walking bit also promoted physical health and wellbeing.

With depression one of the features for me is overthinking, often expressed as free floating anxiety that seems to just come from nowhere and be about nothing. I worry about worrying.

But also the act of making stuff means that I get to think about something that is pleasurable, and outside my head and not inside it. It is also real stuff I can do and touch. It is grounding. And I end up with an art object or do a walk with a purpose to seek experience to make art or my walk becomes performance. Out of the experience, I learn something and make some real concrete thing, and that is affirming.

So the depressive thoughts that I would have had that have no purpose, get used up with doing things that become purposeful.

The art object, be it performance or an art object becomes a container for personal experience and personal material. Culturally, this always was a purpose of art. An undue focus on art as ‘Fine Arts’ and art markets has undermined this purpose.

Make art and don’t beat yourself up that it is not ‘good’ art. Bad art is still art, and you can be the only witness to your art making. Don’t give in to embarrassment. Stop making sense. Nobody will ever know what you made.

by Ciara

February 11, 2021 

For some, having a hobby may even prevent depression.

The pandemic has taken its toll on many peoples’ mental health. Given the fear of the virus and the government restrictions on movement many may understandably be feeling more lonely, anxious, and depressed than usual. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even issued guidance on how people can look after their mental health during this difficult time. Key advice includes trying to keep a regular pattern of eating, sleeping, hygiene and exercise.

But a less obvious recommendation is to make sure you’re still finding time to do the things you enjoy. In fact, research shows that having a hobby is linked to lower levels of depression – and may even prevent depression for some.

Losing interest and joy in things you normally like doing is one symptom of poor mental health. Known as anhedonia, this is a common symptom of depression and is something patients say they would most like relief from – possibly because the drugs used to treat depression target other symptoms and don’t seem to alleviate it.

For some people, anhedonia is one of the first symptoms of depression, and can even be used to predict the severity of depression a person might experience.

So, finding time for your interests and pleasures – such as a hobby – during lockdown could be one way of avoiding anhedonia and depression. In fact social prescribing is a treatment method where doctors can ask patients with mild to moderate depression to take up a non-medical intervention (such as a hobby) to improve their mental health. As antidepressants can be less effective in those with mild depression, this treatment strategy may still help patients with depression find relief from their symptoms.

Talk to plants. Befriend plants. Be a gardener.

So far, some studies have shown that social prescribing programmes that ask patients to take up hobbies such as gardening or art are beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.

Evidence also shows that even for those with clinical depression, certain psychological treatments – like behavioural activation, which requires patients to schedule in time to do things that bring them pleasure and joy – improve symptoms of depression. A wide range of activities and hobbies may play a role in social prescribing and behavioural activation, such as exercising, playing an instrument, drawing, reading or handicrafts.

Reward system

The reason that finding time for hobbies can work has to do with how they affect the reward system in the brain. When we take part in a hobby that we enjoy, chemical messengers in the brain (known as neurotransmitters) are released – such as dopamine, a chemical which helps us feel pleasure. These feel-good chemicals can then make us want to do the hobby again, and feel more motivated to do so.

So even though we may not feel motivated in the beginning to spend time on a hobby, once we start it and feel the associated pleasure, this will kick-start our reward system and subsequently our motivation to do it again. This is something we’re researching in greater depth in our lab.

Alongside pleasure and motivation, hobbies can also bring other benefits. Physical hobbies can, of course, improve your fitness, and others can even improve your brain function. Research suggests that some hobbies – like playing a musical instrument – can improve your memory, while artistic hobbies (such as reading or board games puzzles) are reported to prevent dementia later in life.

So if you’re feeling lower than normal during the pandemic, perhaps try to find time to re-engage with some hobbies that you may have enjoyed in the past – or try new ones. You can also seek help or guidance from your GP or a therapist to find the best treatment for you.

Solway Walk – Moving On

My visit to the Solway was prompted by a need for a large space without physical barriers to explore what would happen if I walked a drawing of an model of experiential learning through the arts. In doing so my idea about my model changed.

The original model

Models are slippery things. Their appeal is that they appear to give a fixed image of a thing, but in practice whilst they serve as a very useful signpost about which way to go when you set off, the thing you find when you get there is never fixed. So the walk was undertaken as an experiment ‘to explore what would happen…’

  • learning model

What the model predicted was that a number of factors would contribute to the art making. In this case my thoughts were that source material would be Richard Long and the walking and land artists. My personal arts practice or art made included using a GPS and walking to make a mark on the landscape and experience of film making as a means of exploration, reflection and expression of experience. I drew on ongoing research and theory about the outdoors as a liminal space and art making as adventure, as a journey of uncertain outcome, and Shaun McNiff’s ideas about witnessing in the arts therapies1.

The model was correct in that my path would lead in to and out of the art making on the day and on to more art making, research, source materials and theory, and that the generic coloured blobs would be specific to the art making experience. My initial thinking after the event went to ideas about performance and the epistemic object and further trips to photograph and film, reporting this through blog posts.

At the centre of this, an act of art making and poiesis occurs. Something comes into existence that did not exist before and it is called art. It is art by convention, because all this could describe the making of a cup of tea. To this conundrum ’Why is this art?’ one asks the question asked by artist John Baldessari, “Why is this not art.” It is art because it was my intention to make art and my act was guided by research, reference to existent artform and artists, theories of art and my experience of art I made before.

But there was something incomplete about the central concentric circle structure. I was interested in the model showing how each experience of art making occured within a loop of experience, like in Kolb’s learning cycle.

  • kolb

But like the Kolb model is an ideal form which would be expressed differently depending on the setting, the strict concentric form may vary depending on the setting. My experience of art-making was, however, that in making art I stepped away from the day to day life experience and went to a different place. This could state is sometimes known as a ‘Flow’ state from work by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. You get in the zone of concentration and attention, of doing and the senses. But for art-making as experiential learning or personal research or art therapy, you enter a state that is similar to a meditative state, like flow with awareness. You are focussed on making art but also on what it is that you have made and what happens when you make it.

So in the model, as well as cycling through an iterative learning process, there was a linear path away from the world, into a creative state where something happens in partnership with your artform, then back to the world.

Reflecting on how the model changed

On return home from the Solway and recollecting the emergence of performance I went back to my Dramatherapy training. In a dramatherapy session you work with a basic three part structure. ‘It begins with a physical warm-up leading to the Main Event, the place where the real action is. It concludes with the ‘grounding’, returning people from the ‘Land of Imagination’ to their own everyday selves.2

During the walk recreating the drawing, the shift from walking to dancing, from recreating the drawing to improvising and performance emerged unbidden. One could say this idea came out of my imagination or my unconscious, or it was the product of a state of flow, or having danced in the past, I simply remembered something from my past related to what I was doing in the present.

So there are two things here. One is a linear journey into a place with some degree of separation from the everyday world, into ‘flow’ or ‘Land of Imagination’, followed by a return. This is a linear journey in an iterative looping cycle of learning. The other is the experience of being in ‘flow’ or the ‘Land of Imagination’. This is an experience of art making as somewhat separated from ones day to day life.

Something like this three-stage process occurs in many settings. In story and in film and theatre there is a thing called the ‘Three Act Structure.’ On one hand, this is as simple as a beginning a middle and an end or it is sometimes understood as set-up, confrontation and resolution. Many interpretations exist and there are examples to be found of its use in say cinema, but it is not without some contention. Like one article says ‘The true three-act structure isn’t a formula, it keeps your beginning separate from your middle and your middle separate from your end. That’s it.’

But the ‘beginning, middle and end’ could be seen as a universal or archetypal structure. For example at Outward Bound, in experiential learning, you worked with a ‘training, main and final expedition’. Your training expedition was where you taught skills, the main expedition was where you had the conflict as you got the people to move from being a group to being a team. Final was the unaccompanied independent journey.

In care, we worked with a conflict model and resolution tool called ‘ABC Charts’ meaning A – antecedent, B – behaviour, and C – consequences. Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey has a specific expression and detail but is also a three-stage form, the call to adventure, the test and the return.

But the simple, warm up, main event and grounding of dramatherapy mentioned above can be also seen in a form described by Victor Turner and Arnold van Gennep as Rites of Passage.

  • Turners Initiation Model

From Schechner3

The above diagram is from Victor Turner a British anthropologist who theorised the above from studies of non-western settings at the top, and western settings at the bottom. This is a three stage journey of return that is linear and cyclical and has a central liminal or liminoid space somewhat separated from everyday life called The Land of Imagination in the dramatherapy model.

Art as liminal space

My proposal is that art making and experiential learning could be understood as having some some elements of the above structure in their practice. I don’t think it is coincidental that after a while on the Solway Walk, I spontaneously rediscovered that I could do the walk as performance. This could be seen as me, albeit briefly, entering a mild ludic state.

There is a lot to this seemingly simple experience of walking in circles on a beach like an idiot. Not least the idiocy. I was being playful throughout. I was in the land of the Trickster or the Court Jester, at once playful and challenging, the one who can perform recombination and inversion.

This is also adventure. The journey between departure and arrival. The journey of uncertain outcome with misadventure available. The three part expedition cycle of Outward Bound. On a slave ship, the middle passage. The refugee in the hands of the trafficker. It is not a thing of the past.

To me there is also something in this of being in the Solway, a liminal space if ever I saw one, between two countries, high and low water, land and sea. To me this is also a state of walking. In walking you are between places, outdoors, in a state of flow, and returned to a mode of existence that predates all of the modern world.

So after a few weeks of reflection my research led me a realisation. The experience was ‘like’ a lot of things, from experiential learning, theatre, anthropology, adventure sports, performance art, and conflict resolution, to Outward Bound and Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

This could also be applied to many arts based contexts and the model has ART FORM as a liminal or liminoid experience at it’s heart, the same as dramatherapy. But the artform that fits this experience best if what is known as Walking Art.

My exploration of my Solway walk has reached a convenient place to move on and in my next set of posts I want to look at Walking Art with a particular focus on it’s scope for promoting health and wellbeing.

  1. Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies – Theory and Practice – Laury Rappaport ed.  ↩︎
  2. Discovering the Self through Drama and Movement – The Sesame Approach. Jenny Pearson ed.  ↩︎
  3. Performance Studies – An Introduction. By Richard Schechner. Routledge.  ↩︎

Solway Walk – Human Ecology

Solway as a Means of Transport

To describe the Solway, it is useful to start at the lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway, because from this point, 100 km ENE to the outlets of the Esk and Eden, and 70 km ESE to Bees Head is one interconnected system of sea, sand, rock and river called the larger Solway Basin as shown in the header image above.

But this opened up to a world beyond. From the lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway on a clear day, to the north you look towards the highlands and islands of Scotland, to the west you can see Northern Ireland, to the south the Isle of Man is clearly visible, and if you travelled due west you would arrive in Penrith, passing over Skiddaw on the way. Liverpool is south east. Dublin south west, Due south is Falmouth.

All this connected by sea passages going back millenia. Recent history would have seen highlanders removed in the clearances in the 18th century who would travel through this area from Annan waterfront to America around the same time that travellers and thinkers from France forged links and then divisions between the French and The Scottish Enlightenment. The Vikings came south into this maritime passageway, and the Romans came north. A legend with a grain of truth asserts that the Geodelic Celts came through this water from Scythia via Spain and the Fir Bolg from Greece.

Closer to home, the bit where the Esk and The Eden meet, between England and Scotland there are stories of ancient pathways of their own which give rise to it’s name. In ‘Crossing the Solway’ the writer Blindedbydazzle writes ‘Sol is common to Anglo-Saxon and Norse tongues. It means mud. The Anglo-Saxon woeth or Norse vad (or vath) … is ford. The Sulewad or Sulwath is as it was then, a way of mud.’

So before a bridge was built at the aptly named Metal Bridge, the Solway was a muddy passage way for travellers going between Scotland and England. The Wath’s across the Solway shown below are from Solway Shore-walker, another site worth a visit. The full story of the Waths is available here and a story of an actual crossing by the author is to be found here.

Where are all the people ?

Either speeding up the M6/A74 or driving more slowly round the minor roads, the Solway switches between being invisible, behind hedges and walls, or appearing spectacularly into view with an ever changing mixture of cloud, sun, water and land or vast areas which appear to be all of the above. However it is best experienced on foot. But as stated elsewhere, it is one of Europes biggest unindustrialised estuaries, and as such it is vast. The drive from Carlisle to the Lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway is over 2 and half hours, the same as to Manchester. There are an almost unending number of places to walk.

The terrain is varied with mountains and bays and sandbanks. The tides mean coastal walking varies by the hour. The flatness of the estuary also messes with your sense of distance. My partner and I walked on the estuary below Criffell and could see ‘something’ out over the sand as the tide ebbed. We went to see what it was and after a 20 minute walk, all we found was a plastic fish crate. But when we turned round we realised we were a mile from the beach. As we walked the sky moved under us reflected in the water in the sand ripples. It gives an impression of either indifference to human presence, or when the tides and weather change, a distinct sense of malevolence.

There are other wild and remote places in the borders that do this too. An article in the magazine ‘Live for the Outdoors’ puts the spot in England most remote form a tarmac road in Kielder Forest GR NY 58000 85879, under 30km NW of the Solway. The article is here. It is a land unused to people.

My wife and I went to the nearby Cristianbury Crags and found a large snakeskin and over half a dozen racing pigeon leg tags, presumed to be from the dinner table of the native Peregrines. It was an atmospheric place and after a while we both agreed it was time to go. In the car on the way home we confided with each other that we independently felt like the crags wanted us to go, at more or less the same time. This is weirdly reinforced in a 16m YouTube video of the crags below.

At the 15m mark, on departure from the place, the videographer describes what I think we felt. He says earlier that the mist seems to have followed them about and then says “The whole place is really mysterious with the clag coming through it, really eerie, like another world.” Just a few miles south there was another world, going from the head of the Solway up into the hills to the south of Christianbury.

The Debatable Land

The sparcity of population is a norm for this wild borderland. Between England and Scotland there was one a place called ‘The Debatable Lands’. Where it is popularly portrayed it is as the lawless breeding ground for the murderous Reivers. A 2020 BBC article here gives part of the story reinforcing this with the lurid reference to a decree ’ the mid-16th Century, some 300 years into the Debatable Lands’ story: (stating) “All Englishmen and Scottishmen are and shall be free to rob, burn, spoil, slay, murder and destroy, all and every such person and persons, their bodies, property, goods and livestock… without any redress to be made for same.” While this decree was made into law, it was more of a legal “out” for England and Scotland. Neither side wanted the responsibility of dealing with the Debatable Lands; and as they could not agree on who owned it or how it was divided, neither could be held responsible for it, either.’ See a map here.

The article points out this deadly decree is 300 years into the story. In ‘The Debatable Land’ by Graham Robb, he writes about how it was originally ‘…a defined area in which no permanent building had been allowed. Animals could be pastured there but only between sunrise and sunset, and the soil was not to be ploughed or ‘opened’ in any way…. ‘Batable’ comes from the obsolete verb ‘batten’. Batable land was rich, fertile land on which livestock could be pastured and fattened up (or ‘battened’). By the 1800s, the word had fallen out of use.”1 As a teen, in Derby in the 70’s you took your food to work in your Bait Box. I thought it was a carry over from the fisherman’s bait box, but they just have the same root. The box for fodder, for the fish or the fishermen.

Ecologically this is exactly how this land should be used. It is in equitable balance with the human population. The Solway is the same. The biggest town, Annan has a population of, say 10k people. Dumfries has maybe 150k, and is connected to the Solway by the Nith, but is not on the shore. Malthus’s idea of a territory having a carrying capacity is seen as superseded in some quarters or resurgent in others. The Solway and the Debatable Lands have a low population density. Neither ids wilderness, both have a history of human interaction. I you can at least see everywhere on earth through Google Earth, or at least 98%, then there is no real, unseen by human eye, wilderness left. We all live somewhere on the urban fringe.

But part of what makes the Solway and the Debatable lands interesting to me is that to a large extent, the native population is not human. In the borders their are hotspots. Hadrians Wall runs a few miles from my house and ends at Bowness-on-Solway, the site of a Sulewath, and in the summer it is (by Cumbrian standards) heaving. But at Walton Moss (another of my stomping grounds), in the 6 years I have been going there, apart from a single busy day of hound racing, I have seen no more than 5 people, all at a distance. So who, apart from the few humans, who does live there.

Native Ecology

Natural England has a number of descriptive documents of National Character Areas. It’s summary of the Solway is extensive, available here and describes it thus…

‘The Solway Basin is a low-lying area of gently undulating low hills that grade into the coastal plain and estuarine landscape of the Solway Firth. To the east and south and across the lowlands of the Dumfries coast to the north, the lowland landscape is framed by the uplands of the Lake District, the North Pennines and southern Scotland. The area has a long history as border country, originally divided by the Roman frontier of Hadrian’s Wall, which has World Heritage Site designation, and through succeeding centuries it has been a part of the disputed lands of the English–Scottish border. The area is dominated by pastoral agriculture in rectilinear fields bounded by hedges but with increasing arable farming on the low hills. The coastal zone is characterised by a more open, wind-swept, dynamic and tidal landscape of salt marshes, beaches, sand dunes and intertidal flats along the margins of the Solway Firth and the Irish Sea.’

In previous posts the relationship between images and words and experience of place has been explored. But in terms of who lives on the Solway the Solway Coast Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty website has some great publications with images of birds, sea-life, plants, human habitation and industrial history available by clicking here.

The Solway Firth Partnership has a YouTube Channel here and two videos below which show the range of habitats from cliffs to moorland to estuary.

And as for the people who live on the Solway, the Annan Haaf Netters know the place better than anyone. This great film from 2019 shows the Solway in it’s many moods and the fishermen catching salmon. What is to anybody else, is just a bit of sea and sand, is to the local people an intimately understood place with names and a personality.

  1. Excerpt From: Graham Robb. “The Debatable Land.”  ↩︎

Solway Walk – The Epistemic Object

Art object as source of knowledge

After doing my Solway Walk I went back to some academic and practice material, reconnecting with Augusto Boal on performance as a dichotomous, and thus creative, process. This connected with my experience of art making as performance as a journey of uncertain outcome. But some of my art making ended up with art objects. However the Boal stuff reminded me of other materials I had read.

In a book called ‘Using Art as Research in Learning an Teaching; Multidisciplinary Approaches Across the Arts’ by Ross W. Prior, there is a chapter that reiterated some of what Boal had to say about the ambiguity of the art making process. In Chapter 8 ‘The ‘Epistemic Object’ in the Creative Process of Doctoral Inquiry’, Carole Gray, Julian Malins and Maxine Bristow the authors, develop ideas about the art object which reinforces Boal’s ideas about aesthetic space but in relation to visual art and the arts object as part of an experiential process. It also talk about ways of viewing art that moves us away from the fine art exhibition, and towards ways of showing art product and process much more conducive to experiential learning. It is about art as research at postgrad level but we can think of art as experiential learning as a form of research or as a source of knowledge at many levels.

The Epistemic Object

Whilst Augusto Boal’s idea of performance containing the aesthetic space as a dichotomous space in which a person acts, witnesses and learns through their own actions, thoughts and feelings, the act of performance is highly experiential, and produces no object in the way visual art does.

In the article the epistemic object is understood as an object which, through engagement and experience, acts as a source of knowledge. In this sense the object could be a painting or an architectural model or the Large Hadron Collider or a diagram of a particle accelerator or the Sistine Chapel. The epistemic object or epistemic art contains ambiguity or uncertainty and thus can be a vehicle for inquiry and thus learning. So whilst ideas about what we we can learn form art is not without contention, as a perspective on art as experiential learning the idea may be useful.

It struck me that when I worked at Outward Bound two classic experiential learning, or ‘problem solving’ activities that could be understood as epistemic objects were ‘The Wall’ and ‘Barrels and Planks’ . Both used creative experiential activities as a source of knowledge. Both could also be understood as performance in the way Boal suggested.

Aberdovey Outward Bound, my old stomping ground.

Viewing and more importantly doing art, making art objects could, I suggest, be understood as epistemic objects. What interests me is the way this idea, adopted and hybridised by art based researchers could bring together ways of thinking about and engaging in experiential learning that could encompass science, the arts, outdoor adventure and the arts therapies.

In the article a number of ideas are presented about the epistemic object being ambiguous or dichotomous and open to interpretation and as such, through interaction, open to creative development or re-viewing. With the article the devil is in the detail. To paraphrase of quote parts of the article would loose a lot of the explanation. So a copy of the article is available for download on my blog under this post or can be downloaded here.

Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s term ‘epistemic things’ is used as a starting point. Rheinberger is quoted thus. ‘An experiment […] is an exploratory movement, a game in which one plays with possible positions, an open arrangement’. The article continues ‘For an epistemic object to have the potential to develop scientific research, it must embody a degree of uncertainty to be useful’. He asserts that epistemic things ‘are by nature made to be surpassed’’

In the article the things that pass as epistemic objects include Crick and Watson’s model of DNA, made with lab equipment. Things used by architects to design buildings including sketches, drawings, plans, charts; photographs; project management tools – timelines, schedules, tables; virtual prototypes, scale models, and even machines and parts are epistemic objects. A design consultancy process in cited, where individual employees select ‘core value’ cards – a given set of random images – to visually express particular values that they each associate with their company.

Finally there is a wonderful description of how Antonio Gaudi designed the Crypt of the Church of Colonia Güell. ‘Gaudi’s stereostatic model.. brought together a set of inquiring materials – a wooden board, cords, cloth, pellets, photographs. From each catenaric arch (formed by hanging the cords from the board) small sacks of pellets were suspended. The structure was photographed. The final shape of the church’s future architecture was revealed by turning one of the photographs upside-down– indeed a productive thing.’ Read about it here.

To me an ‘experiment’ as described above by Rheinberger, could be an expedition, or a painting, or canoe trip, or a walk on a beach, or a drawing of an idea of experiential learning, or making a movie about a walk on a beach, or a map. All, like a petri dish or a painting, can be an epistemic object.

These are all things that could be understood as ‘thinking by doing’, ‘embodied cognition’ or ‘material thinking’. These could things used by artists, physicists, architects, musicians, geologists, sports coaches. The ‘epistemological object’ differs from the ‘model’ in how it is used and by virtue of it being incomplete, ambiguous, dichotomous, open or emergent. The interaction of the maker of the object with the object is what makes it a source of knowledge or creativity. The model tells us what we already know.

The article describes the role of epistemic objects ‘ not to represent what is already known, but on the contrary, to come to terms with what is not yet known. The epistemic object is defined by what it is not (or not yet) as much by what it is’, and says artworks are ‘‘generators of that which we do not yet know’ inviting us to think and thereby are epistemic agents’.

My proposal throughout is that if we understand art making as experiential learning then the outcomes of learning are determined by the interaction of a person doing something in which, as Rheinberger notes above, they think ‘a degree of uncertainty to be useful’. This is endemic to art making, to the art object, to the epistemic object. So as a source of knowledge, a mode of discourse and exploration of experience, art making, in all it’s myriad and contested forms treats, like with like. It’s uncertainty matches the uncertainty of experience.


But in making art, how do we show what we have learned, in and of experience, if it is uncertain. The article goes on to link the epistemic object to the act of exposition. Exposition can be understood as being characterised by an exposure, a showing of all and an explanation.

The word exposition is now a noun, the name of a thing. Etymologically it is from exponere which is a verb, a describer of a doing. In the context of art as experiential learning, as part of a research discourse, the writers of the article think of exposition as more of an exposure of doing, thinking, of materials and process.

The article goes further and suggest it is ‘…the sharing of thinking processes and the revealing of methodology; and perhaps most importantly it invites participation in order to enrich and expand understandings from the inquiry,’ and ‘There is a didactic element to the notion of exposition, as far as it teaches how, and as what something may be seen without determining outcomes.’

Visual examples can be found in the article of recent PhD art as research doctoral expositions. Here.

In showing art in the fine art context, the exhibition could have the quality of a museum, with lots of explanations, or it could seek to rely on the capacity of the artworks to speak for themselves. The explanatory method can tend to give a fixed account of the art made. The art speaks for itself is fine, if you speak art in the same way as the artist. Grayson Perry suggested in the BBC Reith lectures that all galleries should have a big sign at the entrance that says ‘YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT ALL’. He did and exhibition of work by renowned artist and rank amateurs. He said he liked the idea that when people first walked in nobody knew who made what. They just found stuff they liked.

A big part of what I want to get as is art not ART. The making art rather than the viewing of ‘Fine Art’. Art as doing not viewing. We cannot all be artists but we can all make art. We can make art as a way to learn something about your experience, of art making, of what your art is about.

When I was at school I got a grade ‘A’ in Art and Physics. It took me 50 years to get back to the art thing. But the thought of me showing my art in an exhibition is horrific. At school you had to be wary of being good at art ‘cos if your art was good it got put on the wall. In my school that meant you had sold out. ‘Teachers Pet!’.

But my exposition is here, in my showing and sharing. I want to show you what I made and my thinking about my making. The trick that I am working on is to find a balance between being too rigidly didactic and teacherish and too vaguely arty and obscure. My goal is to show so that you may find some thing you like that resonates for yourself. But like Grayson Perry says, you don’t have to like it all. In this sharing, I am sharing my finding my own way.

With a bit of time we can work out for ourselves what is going on.

In the article there is a quote from an arts researcher, Schwab who says ‘One may even say that there is something inherently gentle to exposition considered as introduction, a relief, perhaps, from the obligation of being a ‘work of art’, in the serious sense of the word.’

Art as experiential learning begs you to take notice of the art you make and what happens when you make it. Exposition could be seen as an antidote to feeling compelled to make a ‘work of art’, and show it like a sellout, and instead make some art and tell us what you did and what it was like, what you learned and then share with us what you made. We can work out what it means for ourselves.

Solway Walk – How to Perform a Walk

Introducing Augusto Boal’s ideas about performance as a creative space for experiential learning

The act of reflection on my Solway Walk led me back to performance. Performance, like art, is a variable and often contested phenomenon. It can include theatre, dance, music, sports, business, ritual, play, performance arts and general social functioning. It can be a source of entertainment as actor or audience, but here it would be useful to connect with performance as a form of experiential learning. All art making could be understood as experiential learning as a source of knowledge, but performance has a particularly strong affinity with experiential learning as an active embodied process. My take on performance has to be influenced by my Dramatherapy training, in which a group or and individual can engage directly with performance to learn from experience.

One practitioner who works directly with performance as learning is dramatherapist and Social Activist Augusto Boal. He starts with theatre but develops it with the idea of the spect/actor, simultaneously spectator and actor. The spect/actor is performer and audience in one.

In Rainbow of Desire Boal describes theatre by quoting 16th century Spanish playwright Lope de Vega as ’two human beings, a passion and a platform’. This confirms the theatrical mode of performance as being a collective experience. In this case the ‘company’ is two, (and possibly more) persons interacting with one another. The passion is a reference to strong feelings and often suffering. Passion implies experiences beyond the mundane. Finally there is reference to the platform. In theatre this is usually the stage, as separated form the audience. Boal however moves beyond the actors and spectators as physically separated on auditorium and stage.

What is important to Boal is the act of separation rather than the form of two physically separate spaces. He says ‘The separation of spaces can occur without the ‘platform’ existing as as an actual object. All that is required is that, within the bounds of a certain space, spectators and actors designate a more restricted space as a ‘stage’,: an aesthetic space’.1 By this he says ‘In its greek root ‘aesthetic’ means ‘of or pertaining to things perceptible by the senses’’. Boal goes on ’So theatre does not exist in the objectivity of bricks and mortar, sets and costumes, but in the subjectivity of those who practice it’. He establishes theatre can take place anywhere you want it too. I chose a beach.

Boal continues ‘The ‘theatre (or ‘platform’, at it’s simplest, or ‘aesthetic’ space’, at it’s purest) serves as a means of separating actor from spectator; the one who acts from the one who observes. Actor and spectator can be two different people; they can also coincide in the same person.’ (Boal’s italicisation). The individual performer is witness to their own performance in real time and retrospectively.

Boal says ‘The aesthetic space possesses gnoseological properties, that is, properties which stimulate knowledge and discovery, cognition and recognition; properties which stimulate the process of learning by experience. Theatre is a form of knowledge.’ Here he describes theatre and performance as experiential learning. But away from the confines of theatre as a building with a stage, as a state of entering aesthetic space as a form ‘in the subjectivity of those who practice it.’ then theatre and performance as separation between actor and spectator, could be seen as having occured when I made the beach a stage, an aesthetic space, in which I was both spectator and actor. This is reflective practice.

My reflection, or my ‘review’ was live in the doing and the senses, direct in my direct recollection of the experience, reviewed by the witnessing of the camera and my seeing and editing the footage, in the production of the gps track, as a direct reflection of how I recreated an image of an idea, and how I deviated and moved form representation to improvisation. I witnessed myself in performance. Now you witness what came form my performance.

Boal offers one perspective, and there are other perspectives from other arts and performance theorists and practitioners, but in my reflection, reconnecting with Boal’s idea of aesthetic space resonated with my experience of going from walking an image of an idea to making the beach a place to improvise or perform a new image of an idea. He goes on to further develop the idea of the aesthetic space which offers some interesting insights.

He talks about how aesthetic space has a property of plasticity. It can can be anything we want it to be. ‘A battered old chair will be the kings thrown, the branch of a tree a forest…’ The Solway beach became a canvas to draw an image of an idea, then it became a stage on which to choreograph a dance with a piece of seaweed. Boal says ‘The aesthetic space liberates memory and imagination’.

He also says it offers an affective and oneiric dimension which ‘exist only in the mind of the subject… The affective dimension fills the aesthetic space with new significations and awakens in each observer, in divers forms and intensities, emotions, sensations and thoughts’. In the affective dimension the performer is in the moment and observing them self in the moment, they become spectator and actor. The affective dimension is ambiguous and dichotomatic. I think this is the bit that makes reflection on experience in situ available.

Boal goes on to say ‘Oneiric space is not dichotomous because in dreaming, we loose our consciousness of the physical space in which we the dreamers, are dreaming, here she penetrates into her own projections, she passes through the looking glass; everything merges and mixes together, anything is possible’. Which is why at the end of the walk/dance/performance I knew something had happened, but only on reflection at home did this thing that happened decompress. The act of making images of the experience helped with this. I think this aspect is the bit that makes, in the words of Monet and Rothko, the art the experience. The art form becomes a form of knowledge. The art making is research with the art made is the process and product of research.

The dichotomy of the experience is a key element. Of dichotomy Boal says ‘ This property is born out of the fact that we are dealing within a space within a space; two spaces occupy the same space at the same time.. And all those who penetrate it become dichotomous there.’ As a member of the audience watching Macbeth, I am in the auditorium and also on a heath, there to meet Macbeth. As a walker on the beach, I was on the beach but also on a canvas to paint a picture, then on a stage to do a dance. On a ropes course I am safely moving over a step across, but I am also a person who fears that may fall to their death. I want to return to dichotomy in my next posting, but from the point of view of the art object in fine art.

As a therapist Boal also talks about the effect of the dichotomy on the protagonist actor in the aesthetic space. In theatrical mode, he says, ‘..the protagonist-actor produces thoughts and releases emotions and sentiments which.. Belong to the character, that is to say, someone else.’ In therapeutic mode ‘..the protagonist-patient (the patient-actor) reproduces her own thoughts and releases anew her own emotions and sentiments.’ In the case of my Solway walk, the beach was the aesthetic space and the work done was partly about my material I brought, ie the image of an idea, but also my experience of the place as an active participant as art form and process. In all of my work and ideas about art as a form of experiential leaning, the approach is much closer to the therapeutic mode. From experience I have found this sets the whole mode of working with art appart from ideas and practices found in ‘The Arts’ or ‘Fine Art’.

Finally Boal talks about the aesthetic space as being telemicroscopic. ‘In creating the stage-auditorium division, we transform the stage into a place where everything acquires new dimensions, becomes magnified, as under a powerful microscope, thus brought closer and made larger, human actions can be better observed.’

Boal as a therapist and social activist has a good deal to say about how theatre and performance can enable spect/actors to reflect on their own experience and ‘ the spect/actor transform himself into a protagonist of the dramatic action and rehearse alternatives for his situation so that he may then be able to extrapolate into his real life the actions he has rehearsed in the practice of theatre’.

In moving from representation of an image of an idea to improvisation of a new image and thus a new idea I believe the Solway walk did this for me. The dichotomy or ambiguity in the experience invited me to ‘rehearse alternatives for the situation’. This is a creative act, it is experiential learning, it is adventure. Creativity is a state of uncertain outcome. The journey of uncertain outcome is built on ambiguity. Art is adventure, and whilst misadventure was absent here, it is present in some arts practices and, if I got my tide times wrong, the Solway is a dangerous place. My suggestion is that art making can be an inner adventure or an outer adventure. This is a thing I will discuss elsewhere.

The key themes in this are 1) that performance is an invention of experience not place 2) and as such, by being dichotomous and ambiguous, offers scope for new experiences, and 3) the performance or art made is not just a representation or symbol of experience, it is the experience, and 4) the performance or art made can be understood as research and knowledge of personal experience. This, alongside other modes of understanding experience, offers some unexpected dividends.

  • Ig talking about curiosity
  • Ig talking about curiosity
  • Ig talking about curiosity
  • Ig talking about curiosity

Performer, Iggy Pop on a beach talking to someone about curiosity.

In further posts the ideas of performance and art making as a transformational experiential process will be further developed. But a key theme is that this experiential process is dichotomous, subjective, situational, emergent and multi-dimensional, and no single account can describe it in complete and concrete terms and working through direct expression of my own and other peoples working practice is the best way to do this. What I present is art making as adventure, the journey and not the destination.

  1. ‘The Rainbow of Desire’ by Augusto Boal  ↩︎

From ‘Artfully Learning’ – Fröbel’s Gifts, Noguchi’s Playgrounds

A great, well researched article from ‘Artfully Learning’ about Fröbel the US educational pioneer. As early as the 19thC he did some very interesting work with learning outdoors and through the arts, including ‘Foebel Gifts’ shown above, designed for open play.

Visit Artfully Learning here. The site by Adam Zucker in the USA, describes itself as ‘…an experiential and critical cross-examination of the fine art world and the educational sphere’. There is a great article on Joseph Beuys called ‘Experiential Learning: Art Against Colonialism’ and some great links at the foot of the post.

Children playing on Isamu Noguchi’s Playscapes in Piedmont Park, Atlanta. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS.

If you are not listening to the 99% Invisible podcast, I highly recommend that you start! Two of the episodes from their archives are specifically of interest to the discourse on the complementary relationship between pedagogy and art. The first is a discussion about how Friedrich Fröbel’s architectural wherewithal changed the shape of education; the second episode presents an informative analysis of Isamu Noguchi’s imaginative modernist playgrounddesigns. A follow up blog post by educator and pedagogical researcher, Dr. Louisa Penfold (I highly recommend following her as well!), cites both Noguchi and Fröbel as key innovators of playful learning and modern aesthetics. For those of you who are frequent readers of my blog, you know that I love to write about the benefits that play has on our social, emotional, cognitive and artistic development. 

In Dr. Penfold’s response to the episode on the 99% Invisible podcast, she makes a connection between Noguchi and Fröbel, both of whom influenced modern thinking around art, design, object-based learning and play. Fröbel and Noguchi lived centuries apart, but they were both drawn to exploring ways people learn through their interaction with others, their surroundings and the material world.

Child exploring the 8th Fröbel Gift: sticks and rings 

Fröbel was a leading figure for educational reform during the 19th century. His work with young learners led him to establish the first Kindergarten, as well as a curricula based on socialization and experiential discoveries (his work has been well documented on this blog). Fröbel was inspired by Swiss educational reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, whose approach to “Learning by head, hand and heart,” led to a sweeping modernization of the educational system in Switzerland. Pestalozzi is significant as a precursor to early childhood art education, because his pedagogical methods underscore the importance that drawing has on a child’s development. Like his mentor, Fröbel believed in a strong social, emotional and embodied approach to educating children. His methodology incorporated Pestalozzi’s idea of teaching to the whole child, which means that every facet of a child’s life has a vital impact on the development of their personality, identity and cognition. He took Pestalozzi’s aesthetic educational philosophy further by introducing three-dimensional objects, which utilize art and design as active mode of interacting with the world.

Reproduction set of Fröbel Gifts. Photo by Kippelboy. CC BY-SA 3.0,

Fröbel realized that the way to educate the whole child is through mindful and tangible activities, which led to the invention of Fröbel Gifts, a set of material-based educational tools that inspire active learning through playful and critical thinking. Fröbel’s own term for this thoughtful action is ‘freiarbeit’ (free work). While the original Fröbel Gifts are seemingly simple in their design, they are highly successful in their intended learning results. The Gifts were revolutionary concepts for early childhood learning, because they provided young children with tangible means to make insightful connections to the world around them. Fröbel Gifts are intended to be used sequentially and under instructional guidance, in order to build upon children’s prior knowledge and experience. Their three-dimensional abstract and geometric design enables the child to construct realistic understandings of abstract spatial relationships by discovering the function of aesthetic forms within natural and material environments. As Penfold explains, “wooden blocks could be used to teach numeracy and counting. Then the same blocks could be used to build a house, allowing children to learn about concepts such as height and size. Finally, the block house could be used to construct a story and teach literacy and language skills” (Penfeld, 2020). This methodology and philosophy of turning abstract thinking into tangible results, is in line with the architectural creed “form follows function.” This simply means that the purpose of a structure should inform how it is physically shaped.

Image from page 53 of A practical guide to the English kindergarten (children’s garden). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The influence of learning via Fröbel Gifts is noted by the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who was given a set as a child and has mentioned how playing with the blocks encouraged his groundbreaking work: “For several years I sat at the little Kindergarten table-top . . . and played . . . with the cube, the sphere and the triangle—these smooth wooden maple blocks . . . All are in my fingers to this day . . .” (George, 2000). Wright’s innovative concept for designing buildings that adhere to their natural environment, is testament to how using Fröbel Gifts can unlock creative and critical thinking.

Isamu Noguchi, Play Mountain, 1933. Photograph by William Taylor. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS.

In contrast to the directional and linear intent of Fröbel Gifts, Noguchi’s modernist playground, Play Mountain (created in 1933 as a sculptural model), was designed to be pragmatically challenging and open-ended. Despite the conceptual differences, the pedagogical impetus behind Play Mountain reflects Fröbel’s concept of freiarbeit, or free play. It also utilizes a combination of three-dimensional forms in order to strengthen children’s concrete understandings of the world around them. Unlike Fröbel Gifts, Noguchi’s playgrounds were not meant to be approached in an orderly fashion. Noguchi’s playscapes had none of the traditional playground equipment. He intended for the sturdy surreal objects and earth-like forms to inspire unbridled imagination. His philosophy was that a playground without any obvious guidelines would help children think critically, embrace ambiguity and become more open-minded in how they observed and interacted with their environments and each other (all these elements are habits of mind that the arts teach us, see: Burton, 2000 and Eisner, 2002). Noguchi’s pedagogical outlook is a key tenet of non-directive play, which is a method that educators and mental health professionals alike use to elicit children’s self-expression. 

Blocks, reminiscent of Fröbel Gifts, form a play structure within Isamu Noguchi’s Playscapes in Piedmont Park, Atlanta. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS.

Noguchi is well known for his abstract sculptures and his modernist furniture. While his fine art is largely non-utilitarian, he struck a balance between function and form through his world famous ‘Noguchi table.’ Noguchi’s liberal explorations into natural, synthetic, abstract and concrete objects, also led to the creation of very unique and astonishing playgrounds. Each of Noguchi’s playscapes are distinctive in that they provide an educational experience for people of all ages. For the youth, they are a whimsical source of unfettered activity, while adults can closely observe groundbreaking public works of art and landscape architecture.

Noguchi created numerous models for play spaces, but only a few of his designs were actually constructed for public use. Play Mountain was one of the initial playgrounds that Noguchi imagined. Around 1934, Noguchi attempted to incorporate Play Mountain into New York City’s urban recreational infrastructure, however, he was unable to convince Robert Moses, the city’s Parks Commissioner. Play Mountain‘s design, which simulated environmental modulations and architectural wonders (like pyramids and ziggurats), would have seemed alien to Moses and other straightforward urban planners. As art historian, Shaina Larrivee explains, “playgrounds, a relatively new priority for New York and other urban areas, were decades away from a renaissance that would embrace experimentation and promote “creative play” (Larrivee, 2011). Noguchi’s playground designs were also ahead of their time from an art historical perspective. The consideration and incorporation of the surrounding landscape within large scale sculptural art was not truly emergent until the Land Art movement of the 1960s (Ibid). 

Isamu Noguchi, Kodomo No Kuni Playground. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS.

The first actual playground Noguchi realized was only a temporary structure, located outside of Tokyo, called Kodomo No Kuni or ‘The Children’s Country.’ It was built in 1965 for the national holiday, Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Year). In the mid-1970s, Noguchi’s Playscapes was established in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. (see: Lange, 2019). In his design for Playscapes, Noguchi envisioned an all encompassing educational landscape, complete with a shelter, a classroom, art studios and an office space. He intended for the space to be utilized throughout the year by school groups and summer camps, as well as the general public. The playground equipment is more akin to abstract sculpture than the typical jungle gyms, slides and swing sets seen in most playgrounds, however, every abstract and surreal form is highly functional in encouraging self-directed play. As writer Aria Danaparamita describes, “Rather than dictate a play activity, the structures invite creative interactions. Kids can climb, swing, and roll around in the Playscape’s spiral tower, play cubes and modernist geometric structures with integrated slides and swings” (Danaparamita, 2013). 

Isamu Noguchi at the planning of Moerenuma Park in 1988. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS.

Noguchi’s last major project was Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Japan. The park is a 454 acre amalgamation of Noguchi’s ideas and designs for playgrounds and land art, including Play Mountain. Although Noguchi passed away several months into the project’s planning, his friend, the influential Japanese architect Shoji Sadao, carried on with the logistics and construction. This monumental public space, which includes one of Noguchi’s most elaborate play spaces, opened to the public in 2005, 17 years after Noguchi’s passing. 

Moerenuma Park’s Forest of Cherry Trees, Sapporo, Japan. © Moerenuma Park

Fröbel’s Gifts and Noguchi’s playgrounds are exemplary models for inspiring children’s development within the natural and material world. Their contributions are a testament to how creativity and compassion can inform and benefit social, cultural and cognitive transformation. Both Fröbel and Noguchi were compelled by an array of modern art, design and architecture during their time, and in turn they influenced future generations of artists, designers and architects who work with children and/or develop educational materials.

Education is a form of social architecture and adheres to the adage ‘form follows function.’ Educators are astute and adept in scaffolding instruction and supporting their students throughout the phases of their development. Educators also physically set up their classrooms in order to build strong social, emotional and cognitive frameworks. The tangible classroom space should be a place that welcomes social discourse, collaboration and both guided and self-directed learning. Artists and educators have a unique position as designers of social and cultural blueprints for generations upon generations to explore, expand and renovate. Through the exploration materials and aesthetic experiences, and being engaged in scaffolded instruction and free play; educational infrastructures are developed, which are essential for our society to operate and progress in a holistic and critical manner. 

References, Notes, Suggested Reading:

Burton, Judith. “The Configuration of Meaning: Learner-Centered Art Education Revisited.” Studies in Art Education, 41:4, 330-345, 2000.

Danaparamita, Aria. “Playing with Art: The Isamu Noguchi Playscape.” National Trust for Historic Preservation, 19 September 2013.

Eisner, E. (2002, September) What the Arts Do for the Young, SchoolArts, (pp. 16-17).

Hersey, George. (2000). Architecture and Geometry in the Age of the Baroque. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 205.

Lange, Alexandra. “The Story Behind Isamu Noguchi’s Playscapes in Atlanta.” WHY Magazine, 2019.

Larrivee, Shaina D. “Playscapes: Isamu Noguchi’s Designs for Play.” Public Art Dialogue, 1:01, 53-80, 2011.

Mars, Roman. “Froebel’s Gifts.” 99% Invisible, 9 April 2019.

Mars, Roman. “Play Mountain.” 99% Invisible, 23 April 2019.

Penfold, Louisa. “Froebel’s Gifts and Isamu Noguchi’s Playgrounds.” Art. Play. Children. Learning, 15 April 2020. EducationEducationFriedrich FröbelFroebel GiftsIsamu NoguchiModern ArtplayPlayful LearningplaygroundPublic Art