Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Free time

James Parkinson's exhibition Free Time, which was held at the Seventh Gallery on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, provided a nostalgic experience that allowed me to re-live one of the (arguably) best experiences of childhood. 

Considering the utilisation of physical space and the consumption of time, Parkinson's work, in my interpretation, makes individuals reevaluate their use of free time and whether they are truly making the most of it.

Inside a white walled, luminous room were many children and their parents that were capitalising on the opportunity for free children's entertainment. Besides the girl at the front desk, we were the only people without children enjoying the pit but we didn't let that deter us.

Stepping into the rainbow field, it was an odd sensation feeling the cold plastic against our limbs, and even more so once we lay down and let them cover us completely. It felt strangely relaxing, like being covered by waves on the shore, or what I imagine being in an Flotation tank would feel like. The light is blocked out once you are sufficiently covered, and the weight of them on top of you is a nice, relaxing amount of pressure. After assimilating ourselves into the new, childhood era environment, our desire to document our experience and have fun with our technology occurred.

Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the print out for the exhibition, but I do remember, I think, its goal to reflect the selfie culture that is so prominent within contemporary society. And selfie we did. We also had fun using the slow-mo feature on our phones, filming each other throwing the balls within the pit and watching the colours slowly move in an outwards trajectory. It felt like we were young again, laughing loudly in the pit, not worrying about what the others/the parents with young children thought of us. 

We experienced a natural high from each others company and the delight of creating and playing. Something that, constantly buoyed down by the distractions on the internet and social media, you don't always get to experience.

In the other area, which you must walk through the ball put to experience, is an exhibition called Head Case by Cathyann Dandy, which had  a room full of projections and the song "Vous etes des animaux" playing on repeat. Alex danced around the room to the music, her laugh and the projections reverberating around the room.

People of all different backgrounds came to experience this exhibition, and it made me happy that in Melbourne we have free experiences and art such as this exist to unite each other and prompt us to think and play.

Free Time - Seventh Gallery
Head Case - Seventh Gallery