Child's Play

Tom Bourke

‘Child’s Play’ is a play on words; Implying the essence of play with children’s toys applying visually joyful building blocks that are larger than life, whilst also a nodding to the classic 1988 slasher film Child’s Play that involves a knife wielding killer doll who terrorises a family.

Emerging out from isolation blues, ‘Child’s Play’ is a combination of play and violence with the elemental contrast between the playful objects of building blocks, and sharp metallic weapons. Tom has always had an interest towards the idea of playfulness and colour, but his passion for horror and shock has always been a lingering influence.

Stacked building blocks colour matched to Lego pieces give an element of joyful innocence, whilst sharp chromed teeth, and a modern rendition of the medieval flail hint towards a more sinister presence. The work has been said to verge on the playful and humorous with a greater focus towards the block’s bold colours. However others have also felt a sexual energy of sorts from the chromed objects contained within the work.

The installation has since developed into a multiple sensory experience, including experimental sound featuring jarring and intense synthesisers that radically change to ASMR-like piano harmonies, along with a stop motion video that encapsulates the experience as a whole.

The newly introduced video work is rapid in pace and perfectly aligns with the audio experience. The featured rainbow collage of blocks bring the essence of play, whilst the glitchy and sharp scenes featuring spikes and mechanics bring the element of horror.

Child's Play
Tom Bourke

Tom Bourke is an emerging artist developing and growing in spatial practise involving handmade sculptures, theatrical photography, and experimental audio work. Focusing on his upbringing and realisation of his queer identity, his practice creates atmospheres and environments that leaves an audience to their own thoughts and devices.

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Child's PlayTom Bourke
00:00 / 02:33