- The Ripple Effect – Report on Impact of the Arts on People with PMLD
- Slowing Down time Workshop
Slowing Down Time: 9.5.18
Timescapes that suit peoples processing speed
Sound is touching at a distance
1st Exercise-Erwin Wurm one minute sculptures. All staff to collaborate using the small objects I’ve brought in to create static sculpture of your own bodies balancing or holding some of the objects I’ve brought it.
To slow down time we need to stretch experiences so people have a chance to process- we need to find ways to ’thicken’ time and to ‘congeal’ time, so that people are held. Sound can be a route toward this-not popular music with traditional conventions but by using sound as an element to create ambiences that saturate and hold a person. You can create sounds by experimenting with what’s around you and the person you are working with.
1. Slow walk to sound: move as slowly as possible while listening, try to move imperceptibly slowly across the room. Move as slowly as the hour-hand on a clock for 7.5 minutes. Listen deeply to the sounds.
2. Blind fold walk….holding hands slowly walk where I take you. What can you perceive now vision has been removed? 7.5 minutes.
3. Sit down blind folded-listen to the sounds I play and think about how they affect you and how would the people you work with react to them?
Breaking Down time in a session using sound:a. Using the room around you use anything to hand to create a sound. Think about tiny sounds, quiet sounds, a scraping noise, a teaspoon clinking on a mug.b. Think about sounds close to the ear and sounds with some distance.c. Think about large, loud sounds.d. Change yourself into a performance, accentuate, and exaggerate, surprise and fall over.e. Continually improvise with what you have to hand..be experimental and creative.
- Creative Carers
- The learning disability care sector: hanging by a thread
In a guest blog for Nuffield Trust, Jan Tregelles, Chief Executive of Mencap, discusses the issue of payments for ‘sleep-in’ care and says that not reaching an equitable solution on it leaves the sector facing an impossible quandary
The first week in November saw fireworks of a different kind for the learning disability sector. After a year of indecision, the Government failed to find a solution to the question of whether or not it would pick up the bill for past statutory ‘sleep-in’ care, and instead introduced a ‘voluntary’ new social care compliance scheme, which has been met by care providers with deep concern.
It may sound dramatic, but the learning disability sector is hanging by a thread. It is the worst crisis in Mencap’s proud 70-year history, and the threat of multiple insolvencies, job losses and thousands of people with learning disabilities losing their homes in the community is sadly very real.
So, what has brought us to this? A retrospective HMRC bill caused by a government change in the rules over how the national minimum wage should apply to ‘sleep-in’ overnight care, used widely across our sector.
When the national minimum wage was introduced in 1999, government interpretation and guidance said time spent asleep did not count as ‘work time’. Instead care workers were paid a flat rate ‘on-call’ allowance, which became the norm across the sector. Local authorities with the statutory duty to assess, and commission essential care, funded this care accordingly. Care workers would only be paid their full wage if woken during the night.
This was the case for around 16 years until two employment tribunal cases challenged that interpretation. Then in October last year, new guidance was issued stating that time spent asleep during a ‘sleep-in’ shift did in fact qualify for the national minimum wage payment. This volte-face triggered HMRC enforcement action demanding six years’ worth of back pay for staff, at an estimated cost of £400 million.
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- Health Improvement Scotland: Artlink/University of Dundee Project, April 2018
Over the last decade key health and social care policies including Statutory Guidance to accompany the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 and the Keys to Life 2013 have highlighted the need for practitioners to be more creative. Yet there is little understanding as to how to translate ‘creative’ into social care practice within the context of prevailing social policy drivers of personalisation and co-production. Dr Susan Levy and Dr Hannah Young from the University of Dundee, in collaboration with Artlink, are beginning to evidence the impact of the work of Artlink artists on the lives of service users, on carers, social care practice and the organisational culture of a day centre.
Qualitative data, including observations, reflective diaries and interviews with Artlink artists, Cherry Road Day Centre carers and managers have been collected over a period of six months. Data analysis is currently ongoing. Early findings are highlighting that the work of the Artlink artists with people with PMLD at Cherry Road Day Centre are blurring the boundaries between the arts and social care, opening up a space where care practitioners and managers are learning from Artlink artists. This learning is visible in social care practice and through empowered staff working in new and experimental ways. In essence, Cherry Road staff appear to be connecting with service users at a more personal level, slowing down time to develop meaningful and reciprocal relationships that are engendering a level of agency for service users that is absent in other places and spaces in their lives. In the words of one of the artists,
He has been able to rewrite his narrative … He can’t speak, so through his actions he is generating his own narrative identity, changing it from what’s always been imposed on him … which has been not not not not not. It’s always about the negative. Never about what can we do … and not about learning and really, really looking at people and really engaging with someone, really spending time. And I think the uniqueness of this project is the amount of time we invest… spending time with people and absorbing…. It’s about forming a relationship.
The current Health Improvement Scotland project is exposing the synergy between the creativity of the Artlink artists and ways to work with people with PMLD in a care setting that brings to the fore the visibility of individual agency and enacts the importance of the experiences and learning of both carers and service users. From carers through to management at Cherry Road the artists’ playful, stimulating and responsive interactions with service users are being integrated into practice. This innovative work is uniquely embedding creativity into the working culture of the day centre and transforming the outcomes for service users and carers. In doing so Artlink’s work is problematising prevailing norms around disability and paid carers.
- Lauren Gault
- Jennifer Paige Cohen
- Adam Putnam
We were attracted to Adams work because it presented the sensation of a solid, that could be disappeared or altered by reaching your hand out to alter it. We have talked about fog and dust; of things that look solid but aren’t; of cause and effect; of understanding and not understanding; of staring at something for so long that it becomes something else.
- Matthew Ronay
When we first talked, we discussed the idea of being lost in an artwork. The physical experience of being so caught up by the work that you become immersed in it. In another meeting we talked about not seeing the work, but feeling it, of the sensation of it. We talked about removing colour and what that would mean, of being immersed in monochrome. Our conversations will continue.
- Laura Aldridge – Frieze
Containers, collaboration and perception
BY MATTHEW MCLEAN
‘California wow!’ exhibition view at Tramway, Glasgow, 2015.
‘All my work might be about vessels, the idea that everything is contained by something,’ says Laura Aldridge, standing amid ‘California wow!’, her installation in the former transport shed of Glasgow’s Tramway. The statement is perplexing at first, as there’s only one actual vessel on show, Biggest Pot (2015), which was glazed to Aldridge’s design by the virtuoso ceramicist James Rigler (showing contemporaneously in an adjacent gallery). The colours of the la landscape – grape red, sea blue, bleach white – ooze into one another, like the layers of a Tequila Sunrise.
The three plywood structures entitled Large Bodies (2013–15) are punctured by a curved gap that is filled with cushions and, at a stretch, could contain a person. Indeed, I’m tempted to hop inside myself, but am told by an attendant it’s not allowed, which Aldridge confirms. This isn’t a strategy of frustration per se, she says, but a way of encouraging visitors to ‘think about perception’. And it works: looking at the elegant diagonal heft of one pod-like space, I’m suddenly conscious of my weariness, the throb of my feet. Not My Elbow (ix) (2015) – layers of dyed rice held in a plastic cylinder, open at the top but crowned with a twist of bisque-fired plaster – produces the same effect. The conjunction of smooth barrier, exposed surface and the ceramic’s flourish, makes me want to run my fingers through the rice, imagining the hiss of the grains. As in the work’s title, physical sensation is elicited but displaced. It almost amounts to a mild kind of synaesthesia, enmeshing one sense with another, making touch a business of hearing and looking and imagining, as well as of palpable contact. While we’re talking, Aldridge mentions someone she’s met whose vision cuts out if they hear sound of a certain pitch: a participant in one of the workshops she runs for the non-profit organization Artlink, which seeks to find ways to communicate with people with sensory disabilities and learning difficulties through art-making. When Aldridge describes ‘California wow!’ as ‘a conversation through materials’, my mind turns to this.
At Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts in 2012, Aldridge displayed another series of containers: oversized fabric pockets, some fastened with giant pantomimic buttons. Entitled ‘Underside, backside, inside, even’ (2012), the series played around with the spatial expectations of sculpture. (Where’s the back and where’s the front? What’s the core of a work which declares itself hollow?) It also made a physical address: like a gargantuan kangaroo’s pouch, each pocket seemed, as in Large Bodies, to want to hold the weight of a human. Even the imposing patchwork fabric ‘banners’ that Aldridge showed at Kendall Koppe in 2012 are charged with a sense of the portable. Initially inspired by the advertisements that hang from lampposts throughout la, they look as if they could be borne aloft in a procession; moreover, when talking about their importance to her recent work, the artist describes the appeal of a form that she could ‘fold up and put in a suitcase and carry with me’.
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