5 Nov 2004 – 6 Feb 2005

Exhibition in Gallery 4

Play/Ground investigates the viewer’s relation to horizontal relief, allowing it to be considered not only as a sculptural form, but also as a game and playground to be explored.

Ever wanted to explore the landscapes of William Turnbull or Alberto Giacometti? To physically immerse yourself in their sculptural vistas and walk among their undulating plains? Simon Beeson, a lecturer in architecture and Research Fellow at the Institute in 2003, does just that in a multi-media exhibition that centred on William Turnbull's 1949 sculpture 'Playground (Game)'.

“Sculpture no longer records the play of the hand over the body, but rather the exploratory choreography of the body traced playfully on the ground.”

Simon Beeson

'Playground (Game)' is one of several horizontal relief pieces that William Turnbull developed while living in Paris (after World War II). This was a crucial period in Turnbull’s life, where exposure to new artistic ideals and methods greatly enriched his personal development. As the title suggests, 'Playground (Game)' may be interpreted in two ways, on two different scales - the first the size of a table-top board game, the second an imaginary area of ground large enough to accommodate several figures.

Turnbull's visions owed much to the bird’s-eye views he encountered as a war-time flyer with the RAF, and the pinball machines he would have seen in the milk bars and coffee shops of London and Paris. Beeson explores these influences by framing the sculpture among a collection of images and photographic research that places the piece in a far broader context than is usual.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Galleries: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Research Library: Monday to Friday, 10am - 5pm
Archive of Sculptors' Papers: Tuesday to Friday, by prior appointment

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