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Changing play – writing, researching and learning in an early years arts project

Franks, Anton; Thomson, Pat


Anton Franks


'Changing Play' is an ongoing project initiated by education curators from the Serpentine, a prestigious London art gallery, working with the Portman children's centre nursery. Viewed by curators as a collaboration between artist, children's centre staff and parents, and the gallery, Changing Play combines art and action research, and expands the boundaries of the gallery. In the words of one of the education curators, 'the project is about social change'. It is not for the gallery curators to develop proposals but to 'co-develop work'. Ethnographic evidence employing narrative, visual arts informed analysis is being used by the gallery to report to funders, inform iterative planning and inform future directions. The paper focuses on methodological questions on ways in which ethnographers might meet artistic projects both during and after being in the 'field'. It takes the form of a 'loose parts' montage which reflects the ways in which the art project was conducted. Keywords Modes of ethnographic research; ethnographic writing; community-based arts and play; gallery sponsored community-based arts and play; community-based arts and play curation; community-based arts and social change


Franks, A., & Thomson, P. (2019). Changing play – writing, researching and learning in an early years arts project. Ethnography and Education,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 22, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 15, 2019
Publication Date Feb 15, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 16, 2020
Journal Ethnography and Education
Print ISSN 1745-7823
Electronic ISSN 1745-7831
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Cultural studies; Education; Gender studies
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research Papers in Education on 15/02/2019, available online:


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