Sleep and Ageing

Sleep and Ageing

Poems and Soundscapes

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    Over the course of several months, artist and curator Chiara Dellerba investigated how noises from nature – including brown, white, and pink noise – can activate stimuli in our brain to promote wellbeing. This is true especially if such noises are assembled, mixed, and curated to follow specific patterns and compositions.

    These stimuli help us reminisce about memories from our past, trigger emotions and perceptions from our present, and imagine scenarios for our future. All these processes can foster states of calmness and decompression.

    As a lack of sleep continues to rise amongst ageing populations, substantial evidence shows that spending time with the sounds of nature helps to reduce stress and mental fatigue, and can lead to improved quality of sleep. Academic studies have also demonstrated the potential for music to induce similar results.

    Through a series of conversations, mapping deep listening, writing, and mark-making sessions, project participants have actively engaged with these kinds of multisensorial experiences. They have provided visual and written responses to sound stimuli in order to unearth the possibilities of “virtual” nature experiences which might boost sleep and wellbeing.

    The Sleep and Ageing collection collates, across these multidisciplinary practices, a series of collaborative meditative poems and creative writings which emerged from deep listening to various sounds from nature.

    Hover on the images below to zoom in and read the poems, download, or share them.

    You can also download an accessible, text-only version of the poems here.

    A digital archive of sounds, developed in collaboration with musician Kamal Joory, is also included below. Joory interpreted the creative writings produced in the workshops, translating them into a series of soundscapes for users to explore and discover at their own pace.

    As well as browsing through this treasure trove of sounds and words, you can check out the Sleep and Ageing co-production toolkit and add your own written responses to the soundscapes of your choice. Giving your input, you will help build up an open-source library of meditative poems to slow read while deep listening.

    For an accessible version of the toolkit, please click here.

    Contribute to the Exhibition

      All the artworks on display are co-produced by Chiara Dellerba in collaboration with project participants, including Eric, Sara, Martha Sur, Jo Ferenczi, Helen Rice, Sue Allen, Isabel Footring, and Karey Logan, and licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. A special thanks to artist Kamal Joory and Paper Crane Poets for their kind collaboration and creative inputs, to Dr Greg Elder for his expert input on the topic of sleep and ageing, and to the project Research Assistant, Dr James Rákóczi, for his support throughout.

      This online exhibition, curated by Chiara Dellerba, is part of the wider Understanding and Reimagining Sleep and Its Disorders project, run in partnership with The Sleep Charity and funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Enrichment Public Engagement Grant led by Dr Diletta De Cristofaro.

      To view the other collections in the Reimagining Sleep exhibition, or to download the exhibition catalogue, click on the buttons below.

      These works are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0