‘Play!’ celebrated the wonderful world of drawing and was a collaboration between myself and Yi Ping Huang of Storyhouse Library. We are art therapists and enjoy the work of D.W.Winnicott using this quote from his seminal work as a starting point, ‘It is in playing, and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.’ (p.73, Playing and Reality, 1971)

One of the first things we learn to do when we are small is to pick up a crayon and scribble. It is our way to make a mark on the world and is integral to the development of our identity, as well as being lots of fun to do.

However, playing isn’t only important for children. Everyone can benefit from the joy of spontaneous creation leading to laughter, happiness and discovery. Drawing can be a type of dreaming where your mind is free to roam and take you to make believe destinations when you allow your imagination to take over.

One way to access this wonderful dreamlike state, which some artists call reverie or the state of flow, is through drawing and play. Play enables our brains to relax and develop a sense of curiosity and develop creative solutions to problems.

We believe that everyone can draw, so we asked visitors to Storyhouse to pick up crayons, pens and bring their friends, to express themselves through mark-making and the shared enjoyment of being together in a creative space.