19 March – 9 June 2013­­
Outset Project Gallery (Gallery 5) & 176/Zabludowicz Collection Project Gallery (Gallery 6)

Each year the Whitechapel Gallery invites a contemporary artist to create new work for the Children’s Art Commission. For the latest commission artists Simon and Tom Bloor present an interactive installation, transforming the gallery walls into a giant chalkboard for visitors to draw on using colourful hand-made chalk sculptures.  The work continues recurring themes within their practice, that consider creativity and play as both rebellious and utopian acts.

Designed through workshops with children from Hermitage Primary School in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the chalk forms began as small geometric clay sculptures which the children were invited to crush, encouraging a sense of rebellion. The resulting objects are available as materials for visitors’ own doodles and drawings, and are displayed in the gallery alongside prints showing the process of creation through destruction.

The exhibition title is taken from artist and architect Simon Nicholson’s ‘Theory of Loose Parts’, first published in 1971, which proposes that environments with a range of movable elements empower creativity in children and adults alike.

Simon & Tom work across a variety of materials and formats from drawing, installation and sculpture to public art. Much of their work is inspired by found images and existing texts collected from a variety of sources. The 2011 exhibition Happy Habitat Revisited at South London Gallery saw the artists present sculptures based on old playground designs and repurpose cartoons from The New Yorker, using these sources to explore urban play as a utopian pursuit. For public art projects such as Hey for Lubberland! (2009), a working canal boat with an on-board library of design books was painted in the Bloors’ colourful interpretation of ‘dazzle’ camouflage, and made available for the public to use as a mode of transport around canal routes in Birmingham.

On Saturday 20 April Simon and Tom Bloor will guest curate More Loose Parts, a special family day which will take over the Gallery. Artists Alexander Edwards and Ella Phillips will be running workshops that explore the potential of creative play. The afternoon will also feature short films selected by Simon & Tom and a family trail by Ella Phillips.

The Children’s Art Commission is accompanied by a publication designed by James Langdon with Simon & Tom Bloor.

Notes for Editors
 – Simon and Tom Bloor (b. Birmingham, 1973) studied Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University.  They live and work in London and Birmingham and are amongst the founding directors of Eastside Projects, Birmingham. Recent solo exhibitions include Happy Habitat Revisited at South London Gallery (2011) and Hit and Miss at Modern Art Oxford (2010). Public works include commissions for Bristol City Council (2011) and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2009). Simon and Tom Bloor are currently developing large-scale permanent public artworks for London and Cambridge with Futurecity.
– Publications include As Long as it Lasts (Eastside Projects, 2009) and Something to do and Somewhere to do it (Modern Art Oxford, 2010).
– The More Loose Parts family weekend event takes place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April, 12-4pm. Admission is free. For more information visit whitechapelgallery.org or call +44 (0) 20 7522 7888
– Exhibition curated by Sofia Victorino Daskalopoulos, Head of Education and Public Programmes and Selina Levinson, Curator: Families.

Visitor Information
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursday, 11am – 9pm. Admission Free. Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR.  T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888 info@whitechapelgallery.org whitechapelgallery.org

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Colette Downing
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