Collection Galleries 3 & 4 have recently been transformed to offer a multi-sensory immersive experience, welcoming audiences of all backgrounds. This innovative approach has guided the selection of the artworks, with a keen focus on the materials employed in their creation and the themes they explore. For instance, Martin Folan’s ‘Andy Warhol’ features the unexpected use of Styrofoam, while Jill Dennis' ‘My Birthday’ captures the ethereal image of a woman being lifted by a gust of wind. Through this thoughtful curation, the exhibition invites visitors to engage their senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell, fostering a deeper and more personal connection with the art.

Our sensory responses aim to democratize the art experience, to make it accessible to individuals with varying sensory abilities. By incorporating elements that can be felt, heard, and smelled, in addition to being seen, we can cater to a broader audience, including those with visual or auditory impairments. This inclusive approach ensures that everyone, regardless of their sensory capabilities, can fully engage with and appreciate the artworks.

Moreover, multi-sensory experiences can enhance the emotional and cognitive impact of art. Engaging multiple senses can create a richer and more memorable experience, allowing visitors to form stronger connections with the pieces. For example, the sensory responses to David Nash’s ‘Branch Cube’, encourage visitors to smell or touch bark to engage more deeply with the work, while also keeping the work protected, or the auditory elements that might accompany Dorothy Cross’ ‘Skate’ can evoke a visceral response, deepening the viewer's understanding and emotional engagement.

In addition to accessibility and emotional depth, sensory responses can also stimulate curiosity and learning. They encourage visitors to explore artworks in new ways, prompting questions and sparking conversations. This interactive engagement can lead to a more profound appreciation and understanding of the art and its context.

Ultimately, incorporating multi-sensory elements into this exhibition reflects a commitment to creating inclusive, engaging, and enriching experiences for all visitors. By considering the diverse ways in which people perceive and interact with the world, we hope to offer the visitors of Butler Gallery a meaningful and impactful experience.

Sensory boxes conceived and produced by Niamh Twomey.

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Monday: closed (except Bank Holidays when Sunday hours apply)
Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00–17.00
Thursdays: Late Night 10.00–20.00
Sunday: 11.00–17.00
Last admission is 30 mins before closing times