Disappointing Toys

 

Gatkar (arse-cart)

The word gatkar (arse-cart) was used to describe an activity by a rural Afrikaans friend many years ago. Bored during the summer school vacation, farm kids would dig a trough down a steep riverbank, line it with wet clay and spend hours even days sliding down the improvised slide to the river below.

The recount has stayed with me, not only because the word gatkar is funny and crudely poetic but it represents spontaneous, independent and joyful childhood activity as opposed to structured, managed pseudo-play, the difference between a contrived or spontaneous experience, a good sandwich verses an overcooked roast.

To this end I have made a few disappointing toys, that have charm and promise (materials, surfaces and even mechanisms), but are quite inert and deliver little in the way of real interaction.

Wolraad en Racheltjie se blink nuwe speelding (Wolraad and little Rachel’s shiny new toy) 2010 leather, wood, steel, coir, canvas, thread

Gatkar (Arse cart) 2010 Aluminium, steel

Weeble 2006 48x30x30″ canvas, leather, felt, aluminum, steel, wood, human participant

Compound Balance 2005 108x120x192” steel, canvas, leather, sand, hardware, human participant

Paradysdonkie 2003 60x45x14” canvas, felt, leather, wood, steel, coir