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July 14, 2024

The Future of Toys rising from the floods

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Children go the chance to reimagine their flood affected toys. Photo supplied.

Future of Toys is an exhibition featuring new inventions from 22 children from across the Northern Rivers will open next week at Elevator ARI, presented in conjunction with the Lismore Regional Gallery.

Ahead of the exhibition the participants aged 6-12, brought in old toys and flood-affected objects and through a series of workshops, learned how to disassemble their objects into composite parts and transform them into new inventions that reflect their values and hopes for the future.

Participants utilised a range of emerging technologies to realise their inventions including a plastic shredder and extruder, made by artist and Future of Toys facilitator Ben Paul.

‘Our hopes for these workshops are to empower young people by giving them the tools to design and build inventions based on their hopes for the future,’ said Paul.

Lively discussions about concerns for the environment and love for community

Throughout the workshops participants engaged in lively discussions about their concerns for the environment and love for community, informing their final designs.

Matters the participants addressed included unhealthy waterways, e-waste, the need to care for stray dogs and the importance of building trust. Participants Seraphine and Emerson invented ‘The Tricky Trusty Catcher’ to help build trust. Emerson’s invention was made from extruded plastic from a toy truck and a cushion made from teddy bear fabric and stuffing.

‘If you fall backwards it bounces you back up. The net bounces you up so you can have trust in falling backwards,’ said Emerson of the invention.

Another participant Bowie invented Timeline, made from e-waste and parts of a broken dinosaur toy. ‘Timeline will bring an awareness to the community and symbolises the extinction of the dinosaur and that if we don’t start reusing plastic, circuit boards and e-waste humans could go extinct.’

The Future of Toys exhibition will open to the public next week and is funded by the NSW Government.

Title: The Future of Toys
Location: Elevator ARI, 3 Rural Street Lismore
Dates: Monday 10 July – Saturday 15 July 2023
Open times: daily 10am–5pm

Opening celebration: Tuesday 11 July, 4–6pm

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