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Creative Makers Project; with artsdepot & Mapledown School

'Harmony of Difference'

In the summer of 2018, lead artist, Mike Roberts, worked with 20 pupils with learning difficulties from Mapledown School, to produce sound, music and visual art exploring elements of identity.  The results were installed in the foyer of 'artsdepot' for the month of August, filing the entire space with the calming sound of the individual pieces playing in harmony.

In September 2018, we were able to take the 'Harmony of Difference' Exhibition back to Mapledown School, where all pupils were able to experience the sensory sonic and visual environment.

Great to get photos of some of the artists with their pictures!  "We have so much in common, even our differences resonate in harmony!'

Click below to view the entire gallery of individual pictures:

Workshops and Creation

The 'Harmony of Difference' project began by delivering a series of 10 music and art workshops with 2 groups of 10 pupils from Mapledown.  The first part of every workshop involved a music program that encouraged increased participation each week.  Music creation was a key part ,with pupils discovering and indicating a preference for various sounds and learning how to create simple melodies with music box punch cards. Each week students were able to 'perform' their sound creations on our 'magic marimba'

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For the second part of each workshop, pupils engaged in a variety of art activities that involved, punching, printing, rubbing and scratching.  Various materials were employed to explore these gestures with the specific aim of enabling pupils to express themselves through simple gestures.  Each pupil possessed unique gestural abilities and curating the artwork into finished pictures required detailed observations of how each pupil responded.  The curation sought to focus on detailed gestures that represented true expression.

Concept and Building the Exhibition

The concept of 'Harmony of Difference' is to illustrate that 'difference' should be celebrated as a positive thing;  that diversity is not a barrier to cohesion - quite the opposite, in fact.  Each of us have unique qualities - some we're born with, some we learn and develop; some that are a result of our culture, some a result of our choices.  Each picture (or speakture) in the exhibition is actually a loudspeaker playing a unique melody and sound linked directly to the identity of the artist.  The melody is a musical spelling of their name, the sound is a sonographic translation of their main visual themes.  Each piece is therefore unique.  By applying a very simple structural framework, the pieces work together in harmony - no matter which order they are started in.

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