In the spring of 2022, the Wici Association received funding to continue and develop last year’s project “Touch Łódź!“. We will continue sensory walks in the parks of Łódź and, for the first time, in the Botanical Garden in Łódź. In addition, there will be two educational workshops for children and adults. The first one will focus on creating a sensory path at home or garden, while the second one will facilitate embroidering fabrics in a way they become 3-dimensional and have interesting sensory qualities. The project “Touch Łódź! – Sensory walks and educational workshops” is implemented thanks to co-financing from the budget of the City of Łódź.
The project is conducted by Anna Raczkowska, president of Wici, sculptor, founder of Hap Hap Studio, and winner of the Mayor of Łódź award.
In the first stage of the project, we invited the inhabitants of Łódź to take part in four sensory walks, participation in which will be free of charge.
A sensory walk involves experiencing nature and the urban landscape with all your senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and prioprioception (ability to sense movement, action, and location in your body).
In Prince Józef Poniatowski Park, we invited participants to perform sensory exercises in a plant labyrinth and admire the textures created by ancient monuments of nature. A unique family walk took place in Źródliska Park, where the participants learned about the history of the Wróbelek Ćwirek monument. They also learned how bronze monuments are made. Anna Raczkowska presented the tools used in the sculptor’s workshop and talked about the process of preparing wax models for casting in bronze. In this edition of the Touch Łódź Project, we also visited the Botanical Garden with high school students. Here, the educator offered the young people a short history of the senses in the form of a joint exercise. Participants learned how Aristotle influenced the modern division of the senses. During the walks, the participants could learn simple methods of relaxation that help alleviate physiological, mental, and emotional tensions. We also visited the open-air museum, which is located in the Botanical Garden.
The project was expanded this year with workshops designed to prepare participants to activate their senses on their own using appropriate materials and exercises.
1. Sensory paths for children and adults – how to build at home and outdoors?
In August, we gathered at Źródliska Park for a workshop on creating sensory paths. We met with children and parents, as well as educators interested in sensory education. At the beginning, we talked about the importance of the sense of touch in the development of children, but also adults. The host, Anna Raczkowska, explained how the experience of various surfaces affects the receptors on the skin and muscles, as well as how to develop a sense of balance. Then we invited the participants to build a sensory path and experience various seeds and fabrics with interesting textures. Participants learned how to independently prepare a sensory path and what materials to use to properly influence the sense of touch.
2. French knots embroidery – how to create decorative sensory surfaces?
During the workshops, the host presented costumes and textiles decorated with embroidery. Participants could draw inspiration from traditional embroidery used, for example, in folk costumes from different parts of Europe. Anna Raczkowska also presented the use of embroidery in contemporary design. During the embroidery workshop, we decorated bags, and young people had the opportunity to try their hand at sewing with the sewing machine. Part of the group designed embroidery patterns on their own, but it was also possible to use motifs prepared earlier. The participants learned the basic and traditional embroidery techniques that can be used for designing modern patterns.
The final result of the project will be two short educational films presenting sensory walks in Łódź city parks and gardens. These virtual walks will be designed to inspire viewers to visit the parks in a more conscious way – multisensory, activating the senses of hearing, touch, and sight. Viewers will also gain a new perspective on the sculpture – the artist’s perspective.
Also, have a look at the films that we created in the previous edition of the project and also to visit our YouTube channel.
Promotional partner: Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń.
“Touch Łódź! Sensory walks and educational workshops” was funded by Łódź City Council.