Friday 24 July 2009

Official Launch of Sensory Trail, 22nd June 2009

The Sensory Trail was launched in National Learning Disability Week, with speeches from Claire Roberts a trustee of Royal Mencap and Tiffany Hunt the regional director of the National Trust.

Thursday 23 July 2009

Visit of the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Mencap

Images of Mark Goldring the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Mencap trying out the ceiling box when he visited with some regional colleagues earlier in the year. Another shows him and Eddie trying the bellowphone. These photos are by Deana Clarke, courtesy of AtH

Thursday 16 April 2009

Interview about Sensory Trail on BBC Radio Merseyside

If you go to the link below (needs Real Player) you can listen to a short interview at Speke Hall about the new Sensory Trail on Claire Hamilton’s Drivetime show on BBBC Radio Merseyside.

Scroll to near the end of the programme to find the interveiw, it's about 10 mins from the end.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Access to Heritage Group Wins Award

BRITAIN’S deaf and disabled artists were honoured at an award ceremony in Liverpool.
The DaDa Awards 2008 were presented at ACC Liverpool last night to coincide with International Disabled People’s Day.
The event, attended by Phil Redmond and Mike McCartney, also included a dinner, auction and live performances.

The awards included one for community arts event or group, which was won by Liverpool’s Access to Heritage Group.

Ruth Gould, chief executive of organisers, the North West Disability Arts Forum (NWDAF), said: “The standard of work is getting higher and higher for the DaDa Awards, which makes the judging tougher every year to come up with a shortlist.”

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Testing the Sensory Artworks,Ceiling Box

Kate installed the Ceiling Box in the Oak Parlour, the box contains a section modelled from the stucco ceiling that can be explored by touch, on the lid is a mirror to reflect the ceiling.
Comments from the Access to Heritage testing sessions reported by Carolyn:-
People spent time touching and looking at the box in the oak parlour and liked its smooth soft texture and the reflection of the ceiling. We gained some useful insights into positioning objects – put them in places where there are less ‘non touch’ items, so as not to confuse people! This may mean the box will go on a table nearer the back window.
The ceiling box was popular - They all touched it and guessed what they thought it was. I suppose its a difficult concept if you can’t see the ceiling to start with. Mark thought the mirror was a table. He also said on the feedback form “its good, coz I can’t touch or see the ceiling.” Ellie said ‘ I liked touching it’.
The clocks chimed while we were in a few rooms testing the trail and that got a great reaction too!

Testing the Sensory Artworks, Digital Picture Frame

Kate installed the digital picture frame in the Blue Drawing Room. The picture frame showed pictures of members of the Access to Heritage Group dressed in Victorian style by the piano in the Blue Drawing Room. The slide show is accompanied by piano music Les Hirondelles sung by Joan Sutherland.
Carolyn's feedback from the Access to Heritage group testing sessions:-
The group all loved the photo frame especially the models who thought it was marvellous!!!
The photo frame was enjoyed by its sound rather than the images by the students from the School for the Blind. I let Mark hold it on his knee just so he understood where the sound was coming from.

Testing the Sensory Artworks, Mrs Beetons Cookbook

Kate installed Mrs Beetons Cookbook in the kitchen. The book has herbs and spices inserted into the book which had been glued into solid sections.
Comments from the Access To Heritage Group recorded by Carolyn:-
We gained some useful insights into positioning objects – put them in places where there are less ‘non touch’ items, so as not to confuse people! .. the book in the kitchen may go on a side table.
The group from the Blind School hadn’t been in the kitchen before so they were a little distracted by all the things to take in. They did use the book with help and smelt each spice or herb. Mark said “it smelled like sweet and sour chicken”. Daniel said “the vanilla pod smelt like bakewell tart which is his favourite pudding.”

Testing the Sensory Artworks, Bellowphones

Mike and Jim installed the Bellowphones in the Billiard Room and Great Hall. When the bellows are pressed they trigger sounds and smells.

Carolyn reported from the Access to Heritage Group as they tested the Bellowphones:-
The bellowphones went down well, with mixed reactions to the smells! People seemed to prefer the bellowphone in the billiard room and I wondered afterward if this was because there was a chair to sit on when using it! The billiard sounds were particularly popular.
Some points the group raised:- Consider making the tube (connecting the bellows to the funnel) longer so it can be stretched to reach someone in a wheelchair. Mark had to go ‘side on’ to the bellowphone to reach the bellows, but once he did it worked well for him. He liked all the sounds and some of the smells. They all liked hearing recognisable voices on the sound, in the great hall clips particularly. Daniel said ‘made me think I was in the pub playing snooker”.

Victorian Photo Shoot

Carloyn Murray, the Access to Heritage project coordinator, arranged the Victorian photo shoot with photographer Deana Clarke. Members of the Access to Heritage Project who took part were Lyn, Philip and Sheila. The photos were then up loaded onto a digital picture frame accompanied by the music Les Hirondelles which is the sheet music layed out on the piano stool in the blue drawing room. Here are the images which appear in the frame.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Kates propsals for sensory objects

Cookbook with Smells
Using hardback copies of a Tudor and Victorian cookbooks insert pressed flowers herbs and spices into certain pages. The pages of the books would be glued together so the book becomes more like a solid object with spaces cut into it to hold the spices etc.

Progress so Far This idea didn't cause any problems as far a placing goes. I have been trying to bid for copies of Mrs Beetons cookbook on ebay, similar to the copy in Speke Hall kitchen, keep being outbid! Finally managed to buy one this week its alot smaller than the one in Speke Hall kitchen with a red binding. Its has great illustrations finding it hard to cut into it to create the work because its such a lovely book.

Digital Picture Frame
This idea is to customise a digital picture frame, which would play the sound of the music score Les Hirondelles being played on the piano. The slide show of images would show the piano and the music score, Jasmine in Victorian dress etc, maybe members of the Access to Heritage Group could be dressed as Victorians for a photoshoot? If it were possible it would be interesting to have the music played on the piano in the drawing room and record it for the digital picture frame. The digital frame can be programmed to start at certain times.

Progress so Far This idea provoked lots of discussion to do with the placing of the object. Hopefully it will be placed on the table as you come into the room but this has to be tested. I now have the digital frame, and a recording of Les Hirondelles sung by Joan Sutherland which is great. But still uncertain if I will use this recording or make my own to make it sound more like an amater singing. Will need to organise photo shoot in October in victorian costume.

Stucco Ceiling Box Creating a version of the stucco ceiling in the Oak Parlour, so it may be touched. The ceiling would be set into a Victorian style box or tea tray.For the visuals below I have used the ceiling modelled by the Access to Heritage group made in icing. For the commission I would use a more permanent modelling material e.g. ‘Super Sculpey’. The box could also have a mirror set into the lid to view the original ceiling.

Progress so far, there has been some discussion about where the box should be placed in the Oak Parlour and a suggestion to cover the bottom of the box with felt to protect surfaces. I am waiting for my order of Sculpey to be delivered I want to use white so it won't need painting and the only suppliers to the UK from America have told me I it will not be delivered till October.

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Michael tests his sensory Gloves

During a day long workshop with Liverpool 8, Halewood and the School for the Blind, where the groups did Mono printing and modelling, Michael tested his sensory gloves, the gloves pick up sounds from touch. Michael is going to collect all the sounds picked up by the gloves and sounds from our workshops to create music with them .
The picture below shows Kevin modelling plastercine food wearing a glove. The picture below shows Mark drawing on his inked monoprint plate while wearing a sensory glove.
Michael also took small groups wearing Tudor costume to record sounds around Speke Hall for example they recorded the sound of stroking the bark of the ancient Yew trees Adam and Eve. The images below show the group from the school for the blind in costume about to start their tour. The first one is Chris ready for the tour with hat, cape and wooden sword.
Daniel in ruff and cape.
Mark wearing hat and cap.
The clip below shows Michael explaining about his sensory glove while Kevin models food wearing one of the gloves.

Modelling food workshop inspired by the kitchen and dining room displays in Speke Hall

In a day long workshop with Liverpool 8, Halewood, The School for the Blind, Kate, Jim and Michael, the groups created models of food inspired from the displays in Speke Hall using plastercine to model with, they also did monoprinting documented in the next post.
The picture below shows modelled cakes by Liz a slice of cake by Lilla and a cake by Chris. Lilla made a Ham.
Liz and Phillip modelling suasages.
Kevin made a pork pie.
The picture below shows Chris modelling a fried egg.
Lila made a plait loaf, bread by Phillip and cheese and biscuits.
The picture below shows Susanne and her modelled Victoria Sponge.