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Spectacular sculptures encourage play in new exhibition

University of Canberra students can recharge their cosmic batteries by interacting with two spectacular sculptures which have just gone on display at the University.

"Cosmic Trumpet" and "Embracer" by local artist Hanna Hoyne are on loan for six months after appearing at Sydney’s annual Sculpture by the Sea festival.

Dr Hoyne, who received a 2016 Helen Lempriere Scholarship to turn the artworks into reality, describes the sculptures as interactive pieces which people can ‘plug themselves into and use their imagination to let their psyche be recharged’.

Both sculptures are part of a series by Dr Hoyne called Plug-In Stations for Cosmic Recharge.

Cosmic Trumpet is a sleep capsule with a large horn that sends and receives dreams from the cosmos, while Embracer is a hug machine to recharge the heart,” Dr Hoyne explained.

The artworks will officially open to the public as part of the inaugural Play Creativity and Culture Symposium being held at the University of Canberra on Thursday.

The symposium brings together artists, designers, urban planners and cultural experts to discuss concepts, practices and the potential to play in the city.

Symposium organiser and University of Canberra assistant professor of communication, Dr Cathy Hope said Hoyne’s artworks reflect the symposium’s theme of play.

“These beautiful sculptures are all about play; they capture the imagination and take a light-hearted approach to the plug-in and recharge world that we live in,” Dr Hope said.

“The symposium’s participants will be examining ways we can encourage citizens in our cities to spend more time playing, even as adults.

“Play is an important part of our environment: for individual and community wellbeing; for creativity, collaboration and innovation; and for engagement and pleasure. We’ll discuss play in the city as a general idea, before holding a lunchtime workshop on play concepts in and around Canberra specifically,” she said.

Canberrans are encouraged to visit the campus to play with the two artworks. Cosmic Trumpet is located outside on the grassed area east of Building 1, while Embracer will be installed in the Hub on the Concourse and can be seen during normal office hours.