It began Wednesday as a pile of bamboo, fabrics, tape and several spools of string. After the PlayThink Movement and Flow Arts Festival’s third day at HomeGrown HideAway in Red Lick, the items had morphed into something much bigger. It was a gigantic working-art installation that festival-goers couldn’t resist to interact with.
On Friday, Jonathan Meeksoul (considered the “brains” of Bamboozle Artscapes by his colleagues) busily hurried around a tall bamboo structure that stretched approximately 75 feet across the festival grounds.
The installation would not be complete, he said, until the festival’s conclusion. And it would not be successful unless it inspired the interaction of PlayThink guests.
As he and his crew continually added glitter tape, flowing silver and black flags, umbrella jellyfish and a myriad of other objects to locally-sourced bamboo pieces, guests couldn’t seem to help themselves when they stopped to ask questions or “play” with the structures.
The family-centered festival focuses on play and meditation. It offers more than 200 flow-arts courses or meditative activities. Many are object manipulation classes, including hula-hoop dancing and poi, however classes extend to and beyond yoga, aerial silks and belly dancing.
Above all, PlayThink is about finding one’s inner child, regardless of age, explained Paige Hankla, festival creator and organizer.
Bamboozle of Lexington has attended the PlayThink festival for three of the four years it has been in existence. It is a favorite of the group, Meeksoul said, because both have very similar principles.
“We didn’t come here knowing what we were going to build, but that is the beauty of it. We got a stipend from PlayThink to buy supplies, and we brought them here and you see what is happening,” Meeksoul explained as three Bamboozle workers untangled jellyfish tendrils. “We just work together and build on it and build on it. It's a flow, and it inspires play.”