House of Sound + Mirrors

 © Image courtesy of  Rob Olins

© Image courtesy of Rob Olins

House of Sound and Mirrors is a partnership project between visual artist Rob Olins and Wyldwood Arts in the Forest of Dean. 

Artist Rob Olins has been developing the project since 2011 and this year invited Wyldwood Arts come on board to bring it to the next stage. Working together, we are creating an installation at Heart of the Forest School, producing a temporary structure to house a series of acoustic reflectors.

These audio dynamic brightly coloured cylindrical discs will support students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) to communicate and encourage creativity through hearing, by using and making sounds.

The project was originally conceived as a piece of art work by Rob Olins. However, it was soon discovered that the acoustic reflectors had an impact on people with learning difficulties and their ability to connect with their carers. A further pilot project found that these reflectors were able to support people with PMLD to communicate. 

The aim of House of Mirrors and Sound Experience is to ascertain how the sound reflectors impact on students’ ability to communicate. Through weekly, term time workshops, facilitated by musician Luke Turner and harpist and Music Therapist, Jemima Phillips, will gather evidence to form an understanding into the effects over the course of the academic year.

Architect students from University of West of England are designing the temporary structure, in which the workshops will take place regularly over the school year 2018/19. A recent session delivered with the students at Heart of the Forest School helped finish off the final design stages. The structure will be built by a faction of Knowle West Media Centre called The Factory, an organisation set up to help local people back into training and work provide access to training for building and produce design.

The Research Department of Music Therapists from University of South Wales will monitor the experience of the pupils and develop research into how and why the acoustic reflectors have such a profound impact. The findings of the research will be used to inform other schools working with children with PMLD to hopefully inform education for children and young people in other Special Needs Schools. The temporary structure will be available to other schools to run their own workshops from July 2019.

The team are inviting other service users who may also benefit from this experience from the Forest of Dean to use the building at Heart of the Forest School. If you’d like to find out more, contact Producer Rachel Adams on or call 07877 581 740.

Find out more from the artists website


The Factory
University of the West of England
Heart of the Forest School

Co Produced by Wyldwood Arts and Rob Olins. Supported with funding from Barnwood Trust and Arts Council England. 




Wyldwood Arts