Council Partners Culture News

Inclusive Sensory Spaces Top the Bill at Tallaght Culture Night 2023

Culture enthusiasts experienced unique and immersive sensory spaces for the first time at Tallaght Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir 2023. Commissioned by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) and curated and produced by NOISE Music and Sofft Productions, Tallaght Culture Night will feature two special events, ‘The Soft Space’ and ‘Vanishing Point’, promoting accessibility and inclusivity in the arts​.​​     ​ 

With a focus on young audiences and neurodiverse communities, the events are scheduled to take place at several Tallaght venues on Friday, 22 September and are free of charge for the public to attend, with availability for both bookings and walk-ins. 

‘The Soft Space’ is designed ​to be a decompression space with uniquely designed elements to help facilitate a sensory experience​​. Taking ​place at the cultural quarter at Tallaght’s Culture Night, the unique space is immersive and offers a serene space for relaxation where attendees can visit and escape the festival atmosphere. Created by Sofft Productions to promote inclusivity through innovation, the result is an experience that is suitable for all audiences including neurodivergent children and families.  

In a first for these sensory spaces, Sofft Productions and NOISE Music have teamed up with the cutting-edge virtual reality experience ‘DEEP VR’, a meditative VR game controlled by breathing. Through stable, slow, and deep deliberate breathing players explore the mesmerizing and hypnotic world of DEEP. The experience is designed to bring people from their existing emotional state to one of relaxed calmness and has been clinically validated to regulate anxiety. 

Programming taking place at The Soft Space throughout the day and evening is curated by South Dublin County Council’s Arts Office, NOISE Music, and Sofft Productions, and includes: 

  • Art & Ecology Workshop with Karen Aguiar 
  • Dance workshop/Embodied movement with Karen Aguiar 
  • Tai Chi with Kat Lee
  • Music workshop with Alicia Raye 
  • Collaborative art project with The Autistic Art Club
  • Live music set from iUS of NOISE Music
  • Deep VR virtual reality experience 

Timeslots to attend The Soft Space on Friday September 22 2023 at Rua Red, South Dublin Arts Centre and Tallaght Library will be bookable through Eventbrite, with further information here:  

‘Vanishing Point’ is a unique DJ experience. Born out of the exploration of sensory space, this experiential zone will combine ambient sounds, soothing lighting, and comfortable seating, with the aim of promoting restful rejuvenation and mindful introspection. Designed by Sofft Productions, and curated by NOISE Music and Dublin Digital Radio, the space will feature a line-up of talented DJs delivering curated sets across the night, including: 

  • ​​4.​BALIBOC (Jack Colley)
  • ​​3.​R.KITT (Robbie Kitt)
  • ​​2.​MAXIU (Matthew​ Xie​)
  • ​​1.​DREAMCYCLES (Jenn Moore)​    

This experience highlights the importance and relevance of ambient spaces which promote relaxation, emotional wellbeing, clarity, creativity, and productivity. Sofft Productions are advocates for ambient spaces in clubs, leading to a more inclusive clubbing experience. The space was created with this in mind while also contributing to the artistic landscape pioneering an experiential event. 

Bookings for Vanishing Point on Friday, September 22 2023 in The Civic Theatre Studio Space, Tallaght, can be made through the Civic Theatre Box Office: 

For those who don’t book in advance spaces will be available at both events on a walk-in basis on the day. 

Speaking about the events at Tallaght Culture Night, Natasha Duffy, Creative Director at Sofft Productions, says, “we believe passionately in crafting memorable and inclusive events that celebrate the rich tapestry of culture and provide an opportunity for neurodivergent children and adults to participate. As a neurodivergent person, I understand only too well how accessible festival spaces play a crucial role in contributing to community engagement, social interactions, and cultural enrichment, and this inspires my work every day. I’m encouraged by South Dublin County Council’s commitment to collaboration through its various programmes to make these spaces a reality for Culture Night.”

Gerry Horan, Programme Manager at NOISE Music, states, “as an initiative of the South Dublin County Council’s Arts Office, NOISE Music is delighted to contribute once again to Culture Night in Tallaght, continuing our commitment to providing young people with opportunities to participate in making and performing music, and experiencing live performance events.”

Robbie Kitt, DJ and Producer, comments, “it’s an honour for me to DJ in this unique, inclusive space at Vanishing Point, where music brings us all together. I hope that this is the first step towards ambient spaces becoming an integral part of clubbing and cultural experiences in the future.” 

Karen Aguiar, socially engaged Artist & Producer, adds, “it has been a pleasure to work on this activation and I’m excited to welcome families and children, especially those from the neurodivergent community to experience what The Soft Space has to offer during Tallaght Culture Night.”

Source: South Dublin County Council

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