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The Creative Game was a creative application form, presented by Augustine O’Donoghue for a scholarship at Limerick Institute of Technology for the MA in Social Practice and the Creative Environment (MA SPACE). During the interview for the course, the artist was informed that the college would be offering one scholarship, open to all perspective students.

The application required potential students to write a 1000-word statement on how the course would transform their practice; the winning candidate would be selected solely on this application form. During the interview, it was casually mentioned that the best artists may not win but that it was worth a try. The artist felt a bit disappointed with the parameters of the application form, especially as she felt writing was the weakest aspect of her artistic practice. For the artist, it felt a little like the lottery and the odds were stacked against her.

The artist thought that there might be a more creative way to approach her statement: perhaps the 1000 words didn’t necessarily have to be presented as two white pages of typed text; perhaps it could be thought about in a different way. The artist decided to engage with the psychology of winning and to try and reflect aspects of socially engaged art practice within the very tight parameters of the application process itself.

A series of lottery scratch cards were created, called The Creative Game. The text printed on the cards engaged with aspects of artistic imagination, winning, participation, social art practice, hidden treasure and how the course would transform the artist’s practice. The cards were wrapped in black felt and string and presented as the application form. No instructions were given as to what to do with the cards. It was hoped that those receiving the application would scratch the cards to revel the text underneath and thus engage with one of the important tenants of social practice art – participation. The artist won the LIT Scholarship.