So I’m here with Josh from the House of Fairy Tales. Josh, what’s your role here today?
I suppose I’m an element co-ordinator, which means that I’m one of four or five people from the House of Fairy Tales who have curated, sourced, and managed the various content that you see around you here today. The House of Fairy Tales is an arts education project set up by Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis. They started a couple of years ago, and their maxim is essentially creative learning through play.
[Voices in the background]
Could you tell me about the House of Fairy Tales, when you started it, and why?
The House of Fairy Tales is a relatively new organisation. It started possibly about three years ago. It’s aimed at all ages, really. What I’m finding here is that it’s actually very easy to get the kids involved, and they seem to spend hours doing things. It’s now the problem is trying to get the parents to come in as well, and work with the kids.
I just got roped into helping out with the stick-rolling machine, where we are basically taking newspapers, rolling them up into sticks, which are quite structurally solid, and they enable you to make structures and buildings, and strong things, relatively fast. We’ve made a kind of strange igloo. I kept telling people it was to do with Mario Merz, who is one of our Arte Povera artists. So we were making an igloo in honour of Mario Merz. And the theme of the weekend is Arte Povera.
The art of Povera.
Arte Povera. Just say it with an Italian accent.
Is that something you sort of connect with in your life and work, do you think?
I use a lot of recycling all over. I mean, quite often I recycle art ideas, or I recycle art history as well as recycling actual materials. I think that here what we’re really trying to do is connect with the idea that you don’t need really expensive materials to come out with really important creative… things that are useful, things that are kind of profound. Recycling is actually like a very important part of this process.
[inaudible 00:03:15] Can we interrupt?
Cedar Lewisohn, Curator
Yeah, sure. You’ll just catch me in the final throes of a chess game I’m about to lose. You know, the long weekend is a kind of festival to celebrate the Tate Collection in its widest form, and so basically the rehang this year is based around the theme of Arte Povera. So what we wanted to do was come up with lots of ideas which explored Arte Povera in its widest context. Participation is a really big aspect of it, and materials, the use of materials, using impoverished materials in new ways. I think in a way it’s good to think of the whole event as an artwork in itself, really. It’s a big kind of multi-pronged kind of organism with hands and feet going all over the place. You know, the chess is fantastic, and very surprising, for a start.
Can you talk us through how this game has gone?
This game is going really well. No, no, not for me! I was in a really strong position, now I’m not in such a strong position. I’m in the chess tent. These are my pieces that we are playing chess on. You know, I meet people and they tell me that kids in Peru play with stones, so it’s not even about the pieces, do you know what I mean? If you get into it that much, you can play with stones.
That’s an artist’s chess set there…
It’s an artist’s chess set.
…made out of, I think it’s Tesco’s pieces, Tesco Value versus Tesco’s Finest, I think!
Tesco’s Finest – is it really!
I wonder who’s winning.
We’re getting ready for the Maypole Dance on day four of the Long Weekend, and I’m joined by…
I’m from the English Folk Dance and Song Society, the home of English folk music.
I’m the Director of Sugar Bee Circus, which does happenings and experimental circus projects.
This is like maypole remix, and we’re taking a time-honoured classic tradition of maypole dancing and we’re giving it a sort of mechanical twist.