Williams was invited to work with students from Bournville College to create a new interactive work to be showcased at Longbridge Light Festival, Birmingham.
Drawing upon the history of Longbridge and the festival's overarching theme 'The Shadow Factory', Williams proposed 'The Play Factory', a mix-topian experience that satirises the infrastructure and hierarchies of product-based industry, whilst also highlighting pass-time and play of a bygone era.
During the 'war effort' in WW2 toy factories were given over to the Shadow Factory scheme, rendering toys expensive. Many families could no longer afford to buy toys and so children would create street games from what they could find, or would make games with adult family members from cheap materials. Using games/street games/toys from the period during WW2 as inspiration, Williams worked with the students in a series of workshops to design and create the activities that would exist within The Play Factory's narrative.
The Play Factory subverts the idea of ‘war effort’ by creating a space aimed at being a place of play and pure pleasure. Rather than producing ammunition and aeroplanes, our factory produced joy, interaction and participant relationships - a utopian ‘wacky warehouse’ for adults and children alike.
Credit to Sean Organ and Phillip Satchell for the photographs.