Royal Blind School sounds recorded ahead of move

Penny Kay with the box of CDs which have large type and Braille labels identifying the sounds. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Penny Kay with the box of CDs which have large type and Braille labels identifying the sounds. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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unique sounds from inside the historic Royal Blind School will last forever after being recorded as part of a new art project.

Footsteps, voices and noises heard throughout the Craigmillar Park campus have been put on CD by students ahead of the building’s closure next summer.

The iconic campus where visually impaired children have been taught for almost 180 years is being sold – with pupils and teachers moving to the school’s Canaan Lane centre in Morningside.

Now, four third-year students from Edinburgh College of Art have created a lasting memory of the old school.

Nikolas Karavellas, Sarah Dale, Chris Barr and Penny Kay have put the CDs in a 
special box which can be easily accessed by the children, with labels in large type and Braille identifying the sounds.

The project was the brainchild of Ms Dale, whose young son has a visual impairment and other disabilities.

One of her fellow art students said the group had been passionate about the recording project.

Ms Kay said: “As a group who would normally work primarily with the visual senses we are excited by the possibility of producing work that might include elements of sound, touch or movement.

“Our challenge is to create a piece of art whose primary objective is its appreciation by the children of the school.

“This piece might also prove of interest to people with full sight in so far as they are given an insight into the perspective of the children through the make-up of the sculpture.”

The art installation, which will be kept in the library at the Canaan Lane campus after the merger, was set to be presented to pupils at Craigmillar Park today.

Cari Mannion, depute headteacher at the Royal Blind School, said: “Royal Blind School pupils are very keen on art and are looking forward to seeing the project that the students have come up with.

“This project will help the pupils in their transition to the Canaan Lane campus and will be a lovely memory for them in the future.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com