Six young people with sensory impairments and complex communication needs are making music through a series of Sense Arts workshops. The workshops are part of a project called ‘Music Is A Vibration’, and are being led by a musician and an artist who use innovative audiovisual technology to overcome communication barriers.
At the end of an eight month project with Sense Arts and the British Library, we celebrated the archiving of sounds created by young people with sensory impairments.
My name is Emma McGarry and I am a visual artist. Together with another artist, Judith Brocklehurst, we have been working on a Sense and British Library collaboration to deliver an exciting eight-month project with a group of young people with sensory impairments. The project took inspiration from the British Library’s Sound Archive and allowed the national collection of sounds to be brought to a new audience through a series of participatory and exploratory sessions.
The project came to its conclusion and we celebrated with a big final event at the British Library and our own exciting submission.
Creative activities are fantastic for opening doors to new experiences, and can be a great way for people with complex communication needs to express themselves, make choices and explore stimulating sensory materials whilst creating. It can help relax behaviours and open up interactions with other people too.
As we get older, we might experience feeling isolated and disconnected from society for a number of reasons. Sport and physical activity is one way we can interact with new people, build friendships and connections, and improve health and wellbeing.
After speaking to older people about physical activities that excite them, we learned that there was an appetite for dance classes.
I was recently asked to run a ‘light painting’ session for people who are deafblind or have complex communication needs. As an artist and photographer, I found it interesting to think about how I would adapt the session. But what is light painting?
As a deafblind actor, I was excited to be involved in the production of In Touch at the National Theatre.
In Touch is a show about how deafblind people go through life, the barriers they have faced as well as learning how to live with their disability. For the production, Graeae Theatre Company collaborated with the Inclusion Theatre Company from Russia.
The DeafBlind International Outdoor Network exists to create unique and exciting opportunities for people with deafblindness to explore and enjoy all aspects of outdoor living. This year’s annual gathering took place near Aalborg, Northern Denmark.
These holidays bring people with deafblindness, their support staff and families together from across Europe and this year’s event attracted people from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Scotland and England. Our group from Sense was 15 strong, consisting of six adults with deafblindness and nine people supporting.
Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience for all involved. We overcame delayed flights and a missed fishing trip in the North Sea, but there were many moments of magic and happiness.
How can sound be made visible and tangible to young people with sensory impairments? As artists, that’s the challenge we set ourselves with a collaboration between Sense and the British Library, taking inspiration from its enormous sound archive.
My name is Emma McGarry and I am a visual artist. I have been working on a Sense and British Library collaboration to deliver an exciting eight-month project with a group of young people with sensory impairments.
Every month, myself and Judith Brocklehurst – another artist working with the British Library – come together to meet with young people who have sensory impairments and complex needs, at one of the Sense Centres in Barnet.
The Monday Ramble activity session at Sense has been a regular feature in many deafblind people’s lives over the past six years. It was an opportunity created specifically to get deafblind people from across the Midlands region together to do regular, gentle exercise, and improve fitness levels.
Access to the arts is so important, but can often be misunderstood as simply a ‘nice thing to do’ rather than as a fundamental right. Creativity gives us the tools to make sense of the world and articulate our thoughts and feelings, and we’re yet to find ways of making this available to all.
At Sense we’re interested in ways to empower people to find their cultural voice, and we’re doing this through working collaboratively and experimentally with artists and participants to interrogate access to art through the senses.