House of Sound + Mirrors Experience

© Image courtesy of  Rob Olins

© Image courtesy of Rob Olins

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

Artist Rob Olins has been developing the project since 2011 and invited Wyldwood Arts to partner the project in 2017, to take it to the next stage. Working together, we are creating an installation starting at Heart of the Forest School, and moving onto others, creating 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 - using and making sounds.

Originally conceived as a piece of art work by Rob Olins, 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 a robust research project and exploratory workshops. Through controlled weekly, term time sessions, facilitated by music therapists, we will gather evidence to form an understanding into the effects of the sculpture discs over the course of an academic year.

In 2018, architect students from University of West of England designed a temporary structure, in which to house the workshops on each new site. 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 is being led by Dr Omar Yousaf, Sewnirto Lecturer in Music and Psychology at Bath Spa University. Omar and his team will lead on the research element of this project, monitoring the experience of the pupils and developing research models 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 September 2019.

The team are inviting other service users who may also benefit from this experience from the Forest of Dean and beyond, to use the building at Heart of the Forest School.

If you’d like to find out more about this project or how to get involved, contact us on

Find out more from the artists website


Rob Olins
Bath Spa University
University of West of England
The Factory, Knowle West, Bristol
Heart of the Forest School, Forest of Dean

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




Wyldwood Arts