An art project that transforms people’s childhood play memories into art.

Play Passages is a multi-media community art project that invites people to reconnect with their childhood memories of playing outside.

My initial research and creation asked adults to share a favorite childhood play memory at public performances in Toronto, Etobicoke, and New York City in 2017. After writing a story on a postcard, people closed their eyes and drew a map of its location. (Drawing blind encouraged the adults to let go and play themselves). Then, eyes opened, they painted their map, and added their story to the project. Next, I photographed where some of those memories took place on Google Earth and StreetView, transforming them using a macro lens, and evoking the watercolour map as well as the original memory.

Play Passages culminated in a magical participatory installation, where children played with the adults’ memories in the form of the photographs printed on large pieces of fabric, and combined with rope, sticks and other simple building materials. While the children made the installation come to life, adults watched from outside the space while listening to immersive audio pieces of the memories. They were also able to view and read the original collected watercolours and stories and contribute their own.

Play Passages was profiled on CBC Arts!