SENSORIAL is a new art organisation that promotes Sensory Art & Active Learning. We believe that sense stimulus can work as a positive trigger and be a key element, making communication possible, especially when working with people with disabilities. The aim of our group is to facilitate a renewed appreciation of Sensory Potentialities in Art, through creative experiences that result in a reflective process for those involved.
Through our work as art tutors and practitioners, we have gathered many experiences where sense stimulus was the element that opens up people, allowing them to engage with their environment in a more expanded way.
Sighthill bandstand project
This is a participatory project aiming to involve the Sighthill community, at the North of Glasgow, in the design process of a bandstand, to be built within the new Sighthill Park. For that purpose we identified three main areas where people contribute and get hands on: Structure design; Surface Decoration; Access and Accessibility. Dividing the project in these three areas, allows us to work with different groups, and to propose activities adapted to different capabilities, gathering specific outputs. The whole idea is getting inspiration and input them, at the same time that the bandstand is introduced to the neighbourhood as a social space.
We ran a series of workshops at St. Stephen's Primary School focused on get the children know what is a bandstand, what it's for and how its structure can be. We ran an Accessibility series of workshops as well, in connection with Glasgow Disability Alliance.
Scottish Women Hospital
This project was designed as a method of collecting direct information about the manner in which a collaborative experience can function. It is a hybrid between workshop and collaboration, that it starts with a group walk, centring attention on growth in nature and on the action of the walk itself, followed by the production of a collective art piece. I carried out two Walking Growths, one with Project Ability in April and another one with Debajo del Sombrero in May. For the workshop, we used screen- printing images, part of my practice, whose main motif is the cactus Opuntia ficus- indica. This cactus species grows around my home town in Spain and spreads easily by rooting its leaves and connecting its stems. The screen-printings play with the Opuntia's structure, using as inspiration its ability to adapt and its growth patterns.
As part of the NHS funded Be Arty Be Healthy project, I led an Edinburgh Arts & Crafts group that created `Knitted Body´, a revision on Anatomical Venus from XVIII century. All the organs were made from embroidery & knitting, representing a year of teamwork inspired by medical collections that brought back many memories for members of the group.
Jonathan McKinstry is a great cartoonist and painter who I collaborated with on two different projects.
Research Room, where we mixed our Art works. One of my screen prints from `Sweet Darkness´ (a work in progress) was the base for many interpretations. Jonathan filled up the dark room represented in my image with some of his favourite characters. Later, this work was part of an exhibition launched at the summit "It is Now" held in 2015 at Project Ability.
Art in the Gart: in August 2015 we experienced the gardens of Garnavel Royal Hospital together. This inspired the decoration of a piano covered with flowers & bees. Such a great time!.
This piano is now part of Glasgow Piano City and is located in the hospital entrance foyer where everybody can play it. Gaun yersel !
Collaborations with Jonathan McKinstry
After the first Project Ability visit, I settled down in Scotland and also continued the blog I started in Finland, as part of my Artistic & professional development. In it, I explore Art centres that work with people with disabilities, and gather experiences that help to raise awareness about Outsider Art.
To date I have visited 5 centres, among them Sense Scotland in Glasgow and Debajo del Sombrero in Madrid.
In the rainy summer of 2012, through a European Community grant (Grundtving), I was in Glasgow visiting Project Ability: a centre established in 1984, which runs several programs for people and artists with disabilities and/or mental health problems. Big bright workshops and well stocked with materials, I felt like I was in the Chocolate Factory !
You can take a look here.
Project Ability Visit
In the Spring of 2011, I went to Finland for the first stage of an exchange between the Debajo del Sombrero association, which I was representing, and the ArtLaundry of the Vaalijala Rehabilitation Centre.
During my sojourn I had the opportunity to find out about several European associations, through the Outsider Art Symposium that took place in Helsinki. I also had the chance to experience the midnight summer: Juhannus on fantastinen!
For further information, please visit this blog.
I worked as an assistant for artist Belén Sánchez, who is part of the Asociación Debajo del Sombrero.
As an Artist, Sánchez is obsessed with fairground attractions, medical treatments and a long struggle against fictional villains that threaten her fiercely.
She uses film to tell her stories, but what is really engaging is all the Art work she makes for each of her short films: storyboards, sketches, drawings, collages and all sort of props. These pieces really grab your attention and have to be shown & understood in conjunction with the film, as an installation.
While working with Sánchez, we developed two of her alter egos: the Ferianta (a worker in charge of a fairground attraction), and the Yacente (a recumbent Belen, cast from her own body).
To watch first part of Belen´s short film visit this link.