In this research project we considered what can be learnt about the embodied and material geographies of listening through creative visual arts activities with people with learning disabilities. Through a series of recorded conversations with artist Alice Fox who works alongside the contemporary arts group ‘The Rockets’, auto-ethnographic reflection and images we explore some examples of techniques of listening and giving voice in Inclusive arts practice.
The aims of the project were
The techniques of listening and giving voice in Inclusive arts practice include an attentiveness to visual, verbal and gestural vocabularies through arts based methods; the construction of conducive spaces for listening and voice with attuned collaborators and appropriate art materials; the use of art materials as ‘meeting points’ which enable a non-verbal conversation to take place; how the selection of certain art materials can help people be ‘louder’; how certain materials ‘speak’ and how some people use art making to avoid social contact (as a form of personal world-making which shelters a participant and gives them a sense of security).
The findings are feeding into a symposium with the Tate learning team to be held in the Tate Modern east room on 1 June 2015.
The findings are also partly published in our book Inclusive Arts Practice and Research: a critical manifesto
A more detailed discussion will be found in a Journal Article forthcoming in Environment and Planning D (subject to revisions)
The findings have fed into course development on the Masters of Inclusive Arts practice at the University of Brighton
Dr Hannah Macpherson