Senses em­braced in new cre­ative space

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa is about to get an art space which would not seem out of place at New Zealand’s na­tional mu­seum Te Papa.

The South Waikato Achieve­ment Trust, which sup­ports peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to achieve their goals through the likes of employment, so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, and cre­ativ­ity, is putting to­gether an in­ter­ac­tive sen­sory room in the for­mer Art Space build­ing in Bridge St next to Cre­ative Arts.

The room will al­low vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence all five senses through the var­i­ous in­stal­la­tions on of­fer which have been cre­ated from re­cy­cled and re­pur­posed ma­te­ri­als.

Team leader Rachael Camp­bell said the aim of the project was to show­case how the trust utilises do­nated re­sources which al­low peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to be stim­u­lated, mo­ti­vated and ex­pe­ri­ence new things.

‘‘It’s for the com­mu­nity to be able to see what we do and ev­ery­body can come and ex­pe­ri­ence it,’’ she said.

‘‘It is all about how to be in­clu­sive, there will be things to touch, see, hear, and taste, and peo­ple will be able to in­ter­act with it all.’’

‘‘We will have a dark­room with fi­bre op­tic lights, scent bags with things in­side such as laven­der and herbs, mag­netic fridge doors which have been painted with scenes for peo­ple to be able to stick mag­nets on, Humpty Dumpty’s wall made out of off cuts from Footes Fur­nish­ing and Floor­ing, an in­ter­ac­tive games area, an old stereo for records, and a pal­let sen­sory gar­den with the likes of herbs and let­tuce which the Toko­roa Com­mu­nity Gar­dens will be part of,’’ she said.

She said groups from out of town have al­ready ex­pressed their in­ter­est in view­ing the space which she said was suit­able for in­fants through to adults.

‘‘We hope this is go­ing to be some­thing peo­ple will go wow, we want to see this,’’ she said.

Camp­bell said it was also im­por­tant to work on such projects to en­cour­age the trust’s vol­un­teers.

She said high school and al­ter­na­tive ed­u­ca­tion groups have also been help­ing out.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple are com­ing to join us and we wel­come peo­ple to come and have a look at the dif­fer­ent stages,’’ she said.

The sen­sory room of­fi­cially opens on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 14 and it will be open Mon­day to Fri­day from 10am un­til 3pm. Peo­ple will also be able to hire the space on Satur­days.

En­try is $2 per per­son.

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