With the 2022 International Woolmark Prize centred around 'play', FKA Twigs decided to further this narrative, directing and starring in her own film Playscape, inspired by celebrated sculptor Isamu Noguchi's vision of play as a creative catalyst. During his time, Noguchi designed several 'playscapes' where the public could directly interact with sculptures in ways typically not possible in a museum - all offering a radical potential for physical and social interaction; a concept FKA Twigs' Playscape plays on, to the letter.
There's no guessing game regarding how or where Noguchi is referenced in FKA Twigs' film, which opens with an empty gallery of Noguchi's play sculptures, eventually populated by a diverse ensemble cast of characters. Juliano Nunes' choreography also takes broad inspiration from many dance cultures with elements drawn from hip-hop, modernism, contemporary dance, and punk aesthetics. With guest appearances from activist and model Kai-Isaiah Jamal, DJ and dancer Kiddy Smile, along with DJ and artist Princess Julia, the designs of Ahluwalia, EGONLAB, Jordan Dalah, MMUSOMAXWELL, Peter Do, RUI and Saul Nash become illuminated against a backdrop that brings together dance, music, art and culture.
Speaking on the immense opportunity, FKA Twigs said in a statement:
'It is an honour to be chosen by the Woolmark Prize to work with such talented designers and to create my first piece of work with Juliano Nunes, innovator of dance for the Avant Garden collective.'
Referencing Noguchi's famous 'when an artist stopped being a child, he would stop being an artist' quote, Brett Littman, the Director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, commented that it was these very words that laid the groundwork for 'Noguchi's proposed playgrounds in New York as early as 1933 and would be pre-occupied by the idea of socially relevant sculpture for his whole career'. Littman continued, 'The Noguchi Museum is honoured that the 2022 Woolmark Prize recognises Noguchi's ground-breaking multi-disciplinary work and the importance of play in creativity as the inspiration for this year's award.'
The International Woolmark Prize winners will be announced during a live event in London on 26 April, 2022.