"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
When was the last time you played intelligently?
What do I mean? I mean playing is one of the best things we can do to keep our minds active and enjoy ourselves but also to learn and see things from a different perspective. As I grow older I realise just how little I play intelligently in my day to day life, truly allowing for chance, for dead-end avenues, for things to be done in the spirit of exploration and enjoyment and not in the desire to solve an immediate brief or problem. Much of my best work has come from when I haven't been afraid to ask the silly questions and take them seriously. Seriously enough to look into them, find cultural, personal and emotional relevance and see how these findings could resonate in objects that don't just speak of me, but to me... and hopefully to you too.
The question that seems to return to me right now is closely connected to time.
What is a year?
Is it three hundred and sixty-five and one quarter days? Is it 20 dates, 5 private views, 10 pizza nights in and a bonus on the job?
With my birthday being almost already a month ago to the day, I find myself chewing these questions over. The answers I digest are usually more based around the importance of the memories I make, the objects I make and the people I meet that enrich and alter my life.
On balance, a year can be many things, but one thing we can agree on, is that once the time has past it's gone, to remain untouched, unchanged and unused, fossilised in memory or forgotten all together.
How sobering is that thought!
Which brings us back to Plato's insightful comment about play. Maybe the best way to enjoy, record and learn during the passage of a year is to play. Play intelligently; looking for something and nothing in particular, but enjoying the process of producing without the built in requirements for the perfect answer, the right answer or even an answer at all.
I decided to engage myself in intelligent play and give myself the space of two week check points to review my doings.
Looking over my body of work, necklaces have always been a sure way in to thinking outside the box... I mean how many people do you know that think about making one of these... and then actually make one?
Needless to say, I am excited right now and up for the challenge of exploring the ideas, inspirations, emotions and events that cross my life's path over the next 365 days and playing with the idea of necklaces, or chains as the post title says, as a means of marking out the boundaries of my game.
I would really like it if you came along for the journey, you won't have to pack anything but knowing that you're there to top me up when I'm running low on gas will make all the difference. Either way you'll have the opportunity to pop in and learn a little about me and the way I play over these next 12 months.
Expect my first chain in two weeks time and sign up below to join the mailing list on A Year In Chains.