an artwork created by Matheson Marcault and commissioned by Tideway
About the work:
This hoarding project presents a striking visual collection of rules for games that visitors can enjoy in King Edward Memorial Park in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The games were developed through an exciting collaboration between the local community and Whitechapel-based artists Matheson Marcault (Holly Gramazio and Sophie Sampson).
The project began in spring 2017 with the aim of developing a series of five short games that park users of all ages and abilities could play in the park and surrounding areas. Matheson Marcault initially led workshops with members of the local community to discuss games played today as well as those of yesteryear.
Following these workshops the artists developed and tested five sets of simple and physical games that can be played on your own or in small groups without the need for any special equipment. The games can be played in different ways for different lengths of time and highlight or heighten particular aspects of the park.
Matheson Marcault’s intention is for park users to experience the natural surroundings of the park as a ‘home for imagination’ within the middle of a city, as ‘a mirror world, related to the familliar park but wilder, inhabited by creatures you recognise and creatures you don't. Familiar lamposts and trees are reframed as giant or tiny, made into game pieces and shuffled around. The hoarding becomes an extension of the park itself, and an invitation to play within it’
Each set of games relates to one of the following themes:
- Games for the Present – noticing and thinking about specific elements of the park right now
- Games for the Future – the near-distant future as well as an imagined science fiction one
- Games from the Past – inspired by local history; the fish market or long lost merry go round
- Nature – a seasonal or weather-based look at the natural world
Members of the public said:
"This work is good at structuring your looking, making you appreciate what is around you and be present. It’s colourful, happy and positive. Looks pretty too! I like the green on it. I like that it tries to blend it and take your mind and eye away form the construction site."
"Fresh design. Contemporary, fun. I haven’t seen anything like it before: games on hoardings. A great idea."
"It is attractive. I like the bright colours. The composition of the mural is quite interesting and seems to be inviting to some sort of interaction. It is stimulating and makes you want to play."
"I love the blackbirds that is the first thing that I have seen. I like the colours and the green birds. The artwork makes you more aware of what is around. It helps you be more connected with nature; improve your senses."
"It is rather fun. You can tell that you are in a children area. There are eyes everywhere and birds. I do enjoy all the big eyes in the artwork, it is very eye catching! I also like the colours and theme, it is very happy. My grand children would like it. They would spend time trying to spot all the details in the artwork."