THEATRE TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY ART PROJECT SUPPORTING MULTI-SENSORY IMPAIRMENT (MSI)
As part of Deafblind Awareness Week 2022 (Mon 27 – Sun 3 Jul) Aylesbury Waterside Theatre have announced their latest creative collaboration teaming up with Multi-sensory Impairment Specialist Teacher - Hannah Redwood (Buckinghamshire Integrated SEND Service) and James Ort, Artist and Manager at the Phoenix Studio, Towersey to create an exhibition of clay tiles, each handmade by SEND students with the support of the Arts Society, to create an exhibition of clay tiles, each handmade by Multi-sensory impaired learners.
Deafblind Awareness Week is always at the end of June to commemorate Helen Kellar’s birthday, 27th June. Helen Kellar’s work made a huge difference to the field of sight and hearing loss. Without her efforts, the world today may be very different for Multi-sensory Impaired people. (Deafblind UK, 2022)
The collaborative art project aims to support multi-sensory impaired children and young people to get creative and exploring, as well as raise awareness of Multi-sensory Impairment in Buckinghamshire. Hannah Redwood and James Ort will work directly with each child and young person at their home or educational setting to produce a clay tile using Indian printing blocks and a variety of textures. This will be a fun hands-on experience involving parents/ carers and highly skilled intervenors who will be on hand to encourage participation, interaction and facilitate communication. The tiles will be collated and displayed alongside ‘I can statements’ at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre to celebrate individuality and achievementfrom Mon 11 Jul.
James Ort contacted Susan Olding from the Vale of Aylesbury Arts Society in March 2022 to discuss possible funding for the exciting project. It was quickly agreed that the Arts Society would be keen to fund James’ time on the project and help with finding a public location to display the work. Aylesbury Waterside were keen to facilitate and support this venture, offering practical and innovative assistance.
James Ort said of his involvement: ‘I feel so lucky and privileged to work alongside such an amazing group of children and young adults. They are so curious and engaged in their surroundings; clay is a brilliantly tactile medium to work in for them. A big thanks to the Art Society, Hannah and her work colleagues at Buckinghamshire Council, and Block9 for helping to make this happen!’
Theatre Director, Sophie Denney said of the partnership: ‘We were delighted to be approached by the Arts Society who told us about the project and enquired as to whether we’d be able to host the exhibition. Following the success of our Artist in Residency with Peter Keegan we have never been more aware of the power of arts and the many similarities creative arts have – both allowing expression, escapism and liberating those who are able to get involved in them. The project is a wonderful community initiative offering individuals the chance to create something special and we are proud to be able to showcase the great work of the young adults.’