You will never see plant life in the same way again!

A woman touching a plant with some headphones on and a man is guiding her.

Sense, Birmingham Botanical Gardens & artist Justin Wiggan have been working together on ‘Sensory Beings: Internal Garden’ funded by Grow Wild. Everything we do at Sense is inspired by the people we support. Sense Arts creates a more equal platform where everyone has the time and space to take part, in whatever way they want. Sensory Beings: Internal Garden is the next chapter of Sense Arts Inclusive Arts Strategy, ‘Space to be Different’.

Have you ever wondered what plants ‘sound’ like? Did you know that every plant has its own unique ‘voice’? With the help of wearable technology, two people we support could experience the fascinating internal lives of plants and communicate with nature like never before.

Joffy and Richard are supported near Sense TouchBase Pears and took part in the Internal Gardens project. Sense Support Worker, Fran, was there helping at all the sessions too. Richard ‘loved the sound and vibrations’ Fran pointed out. For Joffy, it was all about the weighted vibration vest. ‘There are not a lot of times you get a proper chuckle like that from Joffy!’ 

Exploring and connecting in new ways

The project has enabled Joffy and Richard to explore and connect with plants and nature based on their preferred vibrational sequences. Internal Garden works by using MIDI Sprout technology – measuring changes in electrical currents on a plant’s leaf. This is then converted into musical notes and vibrations.

This project is an innovative way to create more meaningful relationships between people and nature and provides new opportunities for people to connect with the world around them.

This summer we piloted sessions with residential services at Birmingham Botanical Garden and are hoping to expand the project next year. The interactions with the plants at the Botanical Garden informed the final installation – which replicates the shapes people made when connecting to the plants.      

Long term we would like to use Internal Garden as a tool to enable the people Sense supports to co-produce the green spaces at Sense TouchBase Pears.

The installation was recently installed at Birmingham Botanical Garden and is now open to everyone at Sense TouchBase Pears. Every care has been taken to create an accessible environment where audience members of all abilities are welcomed to join in and experience this unique project. Audiences will be invited to sit or stand within the horseshoe shaped flower bed and touch and explore the plants and feel the sound and vibration that are created.

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