Sand Play

10 June 2020
Although cultural venues have had to close their doors for the time being, there is still work going on behind the scenes: our Collections Officer is still keeping a careful eye on the physical state of MoDiP’s collections, with periodic visits to ensure that there are no problems; plans are being made for a new way of working once the university re-opens; and the team is still researching, acquiring objects and writing in preparation for the next exhibition.  We have had to rethink the timing of our forthcoming exhibitions but we still plan to offer ‘Beside the Sea’ at a timely point in the year, to coincide with other cultural events on offer in the local area. 


One of the subjects we will be looking at for this particular exhibition, is the ubiquitous bucket and spade. Generations of kids have trundled to the beach armed with a whole host of kit, in that heady anticipation of being free to play, dig, build sand castles, and then run to the water’s edge to fetch water for the moat...only to pour it in and find that, disappointingly, it immediately sinks into the sand. But, undaunted, the attempt to fill up that carefully crafted moat continues, keeping kids occupied for hours. 


Buckets and spades are a necessity in this pursuit, and I have been finding out that there is a huge range on offer. From the cheap and cheerful variety, which if you are lucky will last to the end of the holiday (or summer if you are fortunate enough to live near the beach),  to the more thoughtfully designed and produced sand sets, intended to last season after season, to be handed down to younger siblings and even through the generations.   It is noticeable though that the cheap and cheerful examples, which can often be bought from beachside outlets, are brightly coloured and very appealing to children, whilst the more costly ones, perhaps made from eco-friendly materials such as plastics made from sugar cane, are often made in more subdued colours. 

Moby scooper
Shelley sifter
Ray shovel
It would be interesting to know which ones kids would pick and which ones parents would choose. What are the features which makes one decide to buy one thing over another?  Children are increasingly environmentally conscious and perhaps would choose something which would endure rather than subscribe to that throw away culture which we are all now weaning ourselves off. Perhaps that’s an experiment for next year. 

Meanwhile, the work continues and even though we are unable to be with you in a real sense, MoDiP’s exhibitions and collections are always available to you through the website and the team is keeping in touch through social media. 
Pam Langdown Documentation Officer