Art, Games and Play: Don Pavey and other Collections

24 Mar 2018 – 2 Sep 2018

Wakefield, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • For West Yorkshire timetables call 0113 245 7676, for South Yorkshire timetables call 01709 515151 alternatively, visit www.wymetro.com
  • Wakefield Westgate is the nearest main line station, around 7 miles from YSP. A taxi from the station costs approx £10. London King's Cross to Wakefield takes around 2 hours.

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Calling upon a range of visual materials and other items held in the National Arts Exhibition Archive, this exhibition celebrates the close relationship between art, games and play.


It references artist Don Pavey’s extensive collection of toys and games, as well as the work of influential educators for whom the evolution of understanding in children and adults has been a central concern. 

This core connection between art, games and play will be evidenced through children’s pictures, book displays, artefacts, toys, puzzles and illustrations selected from the rich resources of NAEA. These elements provide a context for the exploration of ideas in the world of games and play, with the intention of provoking questions about these realms of activity and the place they hold in shaping perception and knowledge.

The exhibition displays diverse investigations, presentations and celebrations of games and play as fundamental human behaviours. The art that has been generated as a consequence provides a fascinating insight into these aspects of human activity and their ongoing influences.

Children, students, teachers, researchers and others will find something here that will trigger a memory, pose a question, inspire activity or provide a basis for further research into this engaging area.

Don Pavey was a teacher whose research at Kingston College of Art and Design informed his investigations into colour theory and the relationship between art and science. In 1968 he set up the Junior Art and Science Centre (JASC) in London for children with an interest in art and science. His attention to patterns of learning in these fields coupled with an emerging theory focusing on the relationship between art and games led to his 1979 book ‘Art-Based Games’.

Exhibiting artists

Don Pavey


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