Play and Psychoanalysis

It is 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.’ - Donald W. Winnicott We all play. We all need play. But how do we define play? Play is at the core of development, of creativity, of mental health. It is a source of fun, a way of dealing with anxieties, of creating something new, of building relationships. It helps to define who we are and what we can do. Exploring play and its many meanings in psychoanalysis, this exhibition will look at play in the work of Sigmund and Anna Freud, Melanie Klein and Donald W. Winnicott, and how approaches to play, within and outside of the clinic, have developed since Sigmund Freud’s lifetime. Was play controversial and why? How was it used in clinical sessions? Why do we all need to play? The exhibition will include works made by children in workshops at children’s charity UP: Unlocking Potential, a centre for vulnerable children. They used soft materials to make models of teddies and superheroes, hands and animals. Artworks by adult artists that explore or subvert notions of play will sit next to the children’s works. Games and Interviews with key figures in the field (as well as people who just like to play) will be available on audio-visual devices that will punctuate the exhibition. PLAY aims to be informative and interactive, seeking to entice people of all ages to play at the Freud Museum, with an open invitation: Come and play! Exhibition kindly supported by Arts Council England and Kings College London

Suitable for
Any age

£8, £6, £4 under 12 free


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