"The root of creativity is found in the need to repair the good object destroyed during the depressive phase." (Klein, 1984)
"One of the many interesting and surprising experiences of the beginner in child analysis is to find in even very young children a capacity for insight which is often far greater than that of adults."
"It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self." (Winnicott, 2005)
"Play like dreams serves the function of self realization."
"Play is the work of childhood." - Jean Piaget
'...boys who are beginning to play are gradually trained by the older ones in respect for the law; and in any case they aspire from their hearts to the virtue, supremely characteristic of human dignity, which consists in making a correct use of the customary practices of a game. As to the older ones, it is in their power to alter the rules. If this is "morality", then where does morality begin? At least, it is respect for rules, and it appertains to an enquiry like ours to begin with the study ·of facts of this order. Of course the phenomena relating to the game of marbles are not among the most primitive. Before playing with his equals, the child is influenced by his parents. He is subjected from his cradle to a multiplicity of regulations, and even before language he becomes conscious of certain obligations. These circumstances even exercise, as we shall see, an undeniable influence upon the way in which the rules of games are elaborated. But in the case of play institutions, adult intervention is at any rate reduced to the minimum. We are therefore in the presence here of realities which, if not amongst the most elementary, should be classed nevertheless amongst the most spontaneous and the most instructive.'
"It is in playing, and perhaps only in playing, that the child is free to be creative."
Children are at the centre of any community: for millennia humanity has understood their vital centrality as incarnations of hope. They embody potential above all else. Psychoanalysts, such as Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott, have dedicated much of their lives to understanding how children interact with the world through play in different developmental stages on the journey to adulthood. According to Winnicott, play is paramount to how children interact in their microcosms, serving as an intermediary to comprehending the complexities of the broader world. The space where the kids engage in extra-curricular activities for the Homework Club in this instance, Winnicott would define as 'potential space': a safe and inviting interpersonal field where the children can be extemporaneously playful whilst simultaneously forming genuine connections with their peers. This process is facilitated by the use of ‘transitional objects’, which according to Winnicott have the quality of being both real and fictional, allowing the child’s imagination to be bridged with reality.
An observation which sits between fact and fiction, the Riverside Community centre’s Homework Club is a contemporary documentary assemblage between impromptu performative play, the banality of homework and instances of pensiveness sporadically occurring in between. Melanie Klein’s interpretation of identifiable broody experience is known as the ‘depressive position’: a stage when a child realizes the difficulties of moral ambiguity and its perplexing relation to the self. According to Klein, it can be identified as a melancholic faraway look in the eyes of a child during daydreams. As they are thinking about how to solve their problems, such as a mathematical one for the purpose of mere exercise; it simultaneously provides a framework for understanding themselves in the broader world on the adventurous journey to adulthood.