“Playing for Time” is a handbook for anyone wishing to “harness our creativity to make change in the world”. Inspired by the grassroots Transition movement, it’s full of ideas on how to develop new stories of how to live and what life is about. (Or reinvigorated old stories – but stories that are about living in harmony with each other and our world.) In the book, Lucy Neal, and 64 other artists, give voice to this “new narrative – shifting society’s rules and values away from consumerism and commodity towards community and collaboration.”
As they illustrate, art and performance, far from being luxuries, are vital for bringing these new narratives alive, and growing more healthy ways of living. This is particularly true of participatory art and performance, where we are all taking part in the envisaged transformation. This sort of art is not a collection of stuff that you look at in a gallery, or watch on TV. It can be all around us – empowering us all to imagine, connect, and grow.
For me, the Transition Hope Valley / National Trust annual Apple Days and Coppice Days very much fit into this mould – days where we imagine and bring alive a positive way of living – where we step into a slightly different universe – connected with ourselves, and with the natural world. “Playing for Time” has reminded me of this, and inspired me to do more!
The book is beautifully produced and illustrated, full of “recipes for action”, for readers to dip into, take up and try. A further review (along with link to buy the book, and a £5 discount voucher!) is on the Transition Network website.