I know a woman who sits in her wheel chair everyday in a day centre, everyday in her home, in fact, every day in the same place. She is dependent on her support workers to do everything for her, she cant speak, communication is difficult but her eyes tell you everything you need to know. She craves excitement, stimulation which will allow her to move fast, jerking through sudden stops, fast images flashing by her face, a sense of danger within a safe environment. One day we started to run round the room with her, over rough surfaces, stopping quickly, blowing wind in her face, making objects whizz past her. The excitement on her face, her physical reaction to movement told us exactly what she wanted, what we could make for her to ensure that these experiences could continue?
We seek to start a conversation about what could happen if you used the idiosyncratic ways in which a person with profound learning disabilities responds to their environment as a way of informing the making of an artwork or object. Could the object have a function or act as a way of deciphering individual forms of communication, or create an alternative ‘voice’.
If we took the time to listen to what people are telling us. What forms would their entertainment take? Could light be worn? Could sound be used as a way of abstractly understandingspace? What would comfort, make a person feel safe?
All we have to do is let our imaginations run riot, forget about funding cuts and imagine a world where people with profound learning disabilities inform all aspects of the spaces they currently inhabit. Just what would it look like?