Steve Hollingsworth. Sensorium. 2018. Photo: Steve Hollingsworth.

Artlink: 2020 Plans


In 2020 we will bring together a group of international artists to make and exhibit work that is inspired by individuals with profound learning disabilities.

These rarely-considered insights will be made available to a wider public through a range of new commissions, installations amd performances.

The roots of the exhibition are grounded in research projects developed within the Ideas Team. In developing the commissions, artists have worked in collaboration with individuals with complex learning disabilities, or in response to the experiences of care workers who have intimate knowledge of the interests and sensibilities of individuals with complex needs. The following are some of the ideas that will be presented as part of the exhibition:

Fig 1. Sketch for final artwork, 2018. Photo Laura Aldridge

Laura Aldridge works with a wide range of media and materials – incorporating both craft and sculptural practices. For the exhibition in 2020, Laura will work with a simple repetitive action she has used within her workshops, making a long rope-based sculpture that will be free standing and light enough for visitors to pick up, manipulate, hold, pull and place. Threaded on the rope, almost like buoys of varying sizes, will be a series of durable sculptures. Each sculpture will offer a simple sensory proposition. Potential materials include, metal, fabric, plastic, rubber – some might be cold to touch and heavy, others light and soft, some might make sounds as they are dragged along the floor or shook – each element will be both a visual and physical surprise.

Fig 2. Lygia Clark Worshop for Careworkers, 2018. Image Laura Spring & Claire Barclay

Artist Claire Barclay and designer Laura Spring will collaborate on a large semi-transparent pleated fabric ‘environment’ which will provide a variety of quiet and active spaces within. Influenced by the therapeutic work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark and the artists’ own experiences of working with individuals at the Cherry Road Day Centre, the environment will offer a variety of activities and experiences that bring together texture, light, colour, and pattern. It will also be a venue for workshops based on improvisational play and sensory experiences.

Fig 3. Donna engaging with PVC prototype and light up fabric, Sensory Wednesday Workshop, Cherry Road, 2017. Photo: Lauren Gault

Lauren Gault’s artwork is developed in response to the details that mesmerise, of slow movement and the intimacy derived from minutiae. Laura will create a ‘wall-less’ installation that is viewed from floor level through suspended elements that float above the viewer. Literally upending the usual gallery orientation, viewers will lie on a malleable envelope of contained liquid to view the mysterious objects hovering between ceiling and floor. The work encourages a slowing down of looking, and a shared experience through ‘universal material language’.

Fig 4. Steve Hollingsworth & Jim Colquhoun. Lights, 2018. 

Steve Hollingsworth & Jim Colquhoun have, over several years, devised improvised performances within a workshop setting, incorporating surreal costume, spontaneous sound and mesmeric light effects. Reminiscent of a cross between a Dadaist cabaret and a sixties “happening” these events have developed in response to the interests of people with complex needs. For the exhibition, Hollingsworth and Colquhoun will create a room which is both an installation and a site for a series of multimedia performances which respond to the movements of the audience.

Fig 5. Sketch for floor, 2018. Image Wendy Jacob

Wendy Jacob’s work bridges traditions of sculpture, invention and design, and explores relationships between architecture and perceptual experience. Recent projects have involved collaboration with architects, engineers, and working with autistic individuals. For exhibition in 2020, Jacob will construct an undulating platform/ramp accessible to all bodies, where visitors can listen to embedded speakers playing a collage of sounds. The sounds, curated by people with complex needs, draw upon the center’s ambient hums and vibrations as source material.