Multi-sensory exhibition Human Threads announced
Multi-sensory exhibition Human Threads makes connections between people with complex learning disabilities and the wider world
Tramway, 11th May - 28th Aug 2022
Human Threads, a large scale, multi-sensory exhibition curated by the Edinburgh-based organisation Artlink opens this May, presented in partnership with Tramway, part of the charity Glasgow Life.
Conceived as an accessible, creative experience informed by individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities, the exhibition takes the form of an interactive landscape which invites audiences on a journey of light, sound, touch and smell.
For over two decades, Artlink has pioneered the use of contemporary arts practice as a form of collaborative exploration with partner Cherry Road Learning Centre in Midlothian, Scotland. Artlink paired artists and thinkers with individuals within a care setting over a sustained period, creating the conditions for new ideas and influences to radiate from people with profound and multiple developmental disabilities and their carers.
In 2015, Artlink and partners began to devise a large-scale exhibition that would bring these insights and sensibilities to a broad and diverse public—an exhibition that would celebrate our common threads, making connection between people with complex disabilities and the wider world.
The exhibition is conceived as a series of sensory experiences, from the subtle to the dazzling. They include a huge silk sail which sways softly, changing pattern and shape, and small ‘peep show’ boxes containing colourful kinetic experiences for a single viewer. An analogue projector – light shone through a huge glass vessel – projects mysterious ever-shifting forms. A playful tower emits light, smoke and bubbles to mark the passing of time while a giant ramp translates sound into vibration, a gathering place where noise is made physical.
Each artwork within this gentle fairground offers a new encounter and is informed by the idea that nothing expresses our common humanity more than our embodied, sensory encounters with the world.
‘In these dark times it is very necessary to be open to changing perception, connecting to different forms of creativity that will make us all feel good, better on the inside; more alive, kinder, compassionate and full of empathy. More able to be in this together.’
Laura Aldridge, participating artist
‘To bring this way of working into the public realm for the first time and on this scale is a wonderful opportunity for us and all who have collaborated on its development over the years.’
Nicola White and Alison Stirling (Artlink), Curators
The immense scale of Tramway 2 and its utilitarian fabric has allowed the team to devise an experience ambitious in size and accessible to the widest range of people. Throughout the run of the exhibition performances and happenings will animate the space further, some scheduled, others improvised, but all devised to deepen the experience of the installation for visitors.
These events will vary from surprise cabaret acts to improvisations and performances by renowned musicians such as Red Note Ensemble to immersive experiences such as a surround sound Gong Bath by Daniel Padden. Details will be announced via tramway.org through the course of the exhibition.
Human Threads is supported by Creative Scotland, Midlothian Health & Social care Partnership and RS Macdonald Charitable Trust
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