Open studios

Open studios at Victoria Works these past few weekends. I decided to open my doors so people could come in and have a look. I explained that I am not an artist (in the pure sense of the word) but that I did make the partition wall myself, using templates of the old chair factory which were left behind when the workmen ‘downed tools’ and the current landlords took ownership and started converting the big old space into separate units. I introduced myself: Petro, Play Therapist.

People came in, looked at the doors. Some made the connection between the puzzle-like pieces on the partition wall and the chair factory origin of the place. And then it happened: almost all of them hovered at the threshold of the open doors, peering into the playroom. At the sand tray, big enough to climb into if you are smaller than 5 foot 1, the simply made easel and board, the puppets slumped behind the handmade puppet theatre … I watched how their feet resisted stepping over the wooden beam of the heavy mother-of-pearl inlay doors, whilst their torsos tilted forwards as they inspected the almost forbidden (forbidding?) world of childhood.

I liked this. The fact that the playroom feels like a special place. To be entered through a special entrance. Which creaks. Someone even noticed that the creak itself was a good creak, not a scary creak…

As you can tell, people engaged with the space and with me. I found myself having interesting conversations with people around therapy, parenthood, schooling, being creative, being stuck, feeling judged, the limits we place on ourselves – the voices of conditional acceptance in our heads when we start a new project or try and learn a new skill…

I knew that having my therapy space in a mainly artist inhabited hub would suit my temperament. The space now reflects the child-led nature of my work. After these past weekends I now have proof that it exudes the right amount of permissiveness. blueboxandtail stands. Poised and Ready.

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