16-17 August, 2013

12 Heathfield Place, Airds
Campbelltown, New South Wales

As part of Campbelltown Art Centre's Temporary Democracies, Elizabeth Woods proposes an alternative approach to conventional social services that are motivated by pragmatic or religious goals.

In the spirit of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Woods' allusive approach begins, not with a set of functional targets, but with a source of affection: table tennis. For her, this source promises an entirely inclusive progression to physical fitness, discipline, social engagement, self-awareness and cognitive development by establishing unconventional and therefore, highly malleable foundational relationships with the community. This mode of engagement defers easy judgements, blurring distinctions between mainstream society and groups designated as "disadvantaged."

Her motto: table tennis changes lives.

In 2013, a two week trial was held to test the viability of this vision.

Bek Conroy's observations of the trial can be read on the Temporary Democracies site.