Toys for Survival
Mobilising playfulness and pleasure as a radical act within a history of women’s resistance, healing and growth, Toys for Survival started life as a series of six workshops, offered free to survivors. The project resulted in an exhibition at the Glasgow Women's Library and a publication that brings together theories of Pleasure Activism; activities that engage with playfulness and touch; and creative responses from survivors. The publication will be distributed for free to relevant organisations and you can download your free copy here!
The Toys for Survival project was devised and led by Leah Miller-Biot. You can see more of her creative work here.
The workshops culminated in survivor's own tactile sculptures being displayed in an exhibition at the Glasgow Women's Library running from the 13th of February until the 28th of March 2020. This exhibition displays their sculptures together with work by three professional artists - Leah Miller-Biot, Maria De Lima and Joanna Peace - as well as selected material from the Women's Aid Archive. We also ran an archive session for the workshop participants at the Glasgow Women's Library, where they interacted with material from the Women's Aid Archive, learning about ways that women have fought and resisted in Scotland throughout history. Archive materials were selected by Robyn McMillan, who was hired as an archival intern to work alongside this project. You can read a blog about Robyn's experience here.
Toys for Survival aimed to introduce survivors to creative spaces in the Glasgow North East locale. The workshops were held at the Market Gallery, a charitable visual arts organisation that presents a varied programme of contemporary exhibitions, projects and events.
Toys for Survival also resulted in a small publication, which brings together theories of Pleasure Activism; activities that engage with playfulness and touch; and creative responses from survivors. This publication was available at the exhibition and has been distributed to several relevant women's groups. You can download your copy here.
Thank you to the Glasgow Connected Art Network
and to Creative Scotland for funding this project!