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Posted: 24/02/14

Students create multi-sensory pod for Mansfield

Boats on the high seas, mountain ranges and a giant-sized flower garden are just some of the things that students at West Nottinghamshire College have created for a multi-sensory art project.

  • Foundation studies students in the magical woodland scene creating character masks
  • Rebecca Smith, Tracy Radford and Jessica Kemp
  • Students were involved in the creative process over a 12-week period
  • Students were involved in the creative process over a 12-week period

Working with arts practitioners, students from the college’s Skills For Independent Living course spent twelve weeks helping to create Making Spaces - a series of story-telling pieces on a large scale art using paper, card, lighting and sound to build a multi-sensory experience for the Mansfield Pod.

The Mansfield Pod is part of the charity – Southwell Care Project – which runs innovative and person-centred activities, learning and support to adults with learning disabilities.

The nine students, who all have learning difficulties or disabilities, worked with Tracy Radford from Mansfield Pod, digital artist Bec Smith and professional arts practitioners Jessica Kemp and Lauren O’Grady from Nottinghamshire County Council’s County Youth Arts, to transform Mansfield’s Old Library into a variety of magical enchanted, fairytale landscapes.

Featuring at the Old Library on Leeming Street for just one day (18 February), the final art installation invited members of the public to walk around the experience and was designed to be therapeutic and encourage play and stimulate learning.

Di Fennell, programme area leader for care and education studies at the college, said: “It’s been a truly wonderful experience to see our students engage in this creative artwork with Making Space and with a range of arts professionals. It’s opened up their artistic awareness as well as their confidence.”

Tracy Radford, Southwell Care Project’s Development Manager, said: “To have the opportunity to take part in a therapeutic arts process like Making Space allows participants to connect to their creativity.

“Developing creative behaviours help us become more dynamic, conscious, non-defensive, observant, collaborative and brave.

“We saw the change in the participants’ approach and understanding over the 12 weeks they were with us and with their final installation piece attracting around 400 members of the public we can safely say it was a great success; well done to them all.”