We were one of 15 artists from a field of over 200 to be commissioned by Poplar Union to create a bespoke piece for their digital arts festival in November 2020. Pieces needed to respond to the theme of 'Looking Out, Looking In, Looking Up'.
We developed a resource spread across four digital elements: a song, a video, an activity pack exploring themes from the piece, and a sensory practitioners pack with a Story Massage, dance massage and Sensology workout to accompany the song.
View the video and song below, and follow the link here to access both packs and to download the song: LOOKING (BE CURIOUS)
Interpretation of Theme | Wellbeing and Emotional Health
Our focus for this resource was on offering simple, sensory strategies that can be helpful when big feelings overwhelm. Looking Out suggests using some mindfulness techniques and games on your doorstep to re-regulate and distract; Looking In suggests some ways of
exploring interoception - our sense of knowing how we are feeling physically and emtionally inside our bodies; Looking Up suggests stargazing and night time walks to help with overstimulation or anxieties that intensify once it gets dark. All strategies are presented as 'First Aid': calm the fight/flight/freeze/fawn reflex, connect, and then problem solve together from there.
The song, inspired by artists such as Dua Lipa, creates a funky mnemonic scaffold for remembering the strategies and also a soundtrack for some sensory activities. It is important to us that song resources should sound like music that is naturally part of families' lived experiences at this moment in time, the sort of sounds they may hear on the radio, on social media, or choose to stream; didactic and messaged music does not need to sound like nursery rhymes, it can and should meet people where they are and positive-messaging in music, especially around mental health, helps break the stigma and normalises learning about feelings, self and co-regulation, and wellbeing.