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Visual-Tactile Murals (2010) DeafBlind Ontario Services
Big Butterfly Fish by Carol Knowlton-Dority
Big Butterfly Fish Butterfly Fish Fish detail Fish detail eye spot detail
underwater plants starfish red fish Seasponge red blue Fish
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The themes for the DeafBlind Murals include: Under Water, a Nova Scotia Landscape (London, Ontario); Tropical Rainforest (Jackson's Point, Ontario), and a farm scene (Peterborough, Ontario).

Tree Frog by Carol Knowlton-Dority
Tree Frog thumb Tree Frog eye detail thumb Tree Frog foot detail thumb Toucan thumb Toucan detail thumb
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Nova Scotia seascape by Carol Knowlton-Dority
Nova Scotia fisherman Nova Scotia puffins Nova Scotia puffin Nova Scotia puffin detail Nova Scotia lobster
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DeafBlind Farm Scene by Carol Knowlton-Dority
Farm scene Farm horse farm horse construction stage farm rooster construction stage farm rooster
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Full Mural left panel
Mural Routes is a Not-for-Profit organization that promotes development of public wall art. Carol was on the Board of Directors 2002-2004, and President of the Board 2004-2014 [ »]

DeafBlind OntarioThe Visual-Tactile murals, created for the residents of DeafBlind Ontario Services, are designed to contribute multi-sensory visual tactile experience. This approach is recognized as an imaginative choice for effective therapy, creative teaching and expanding life experiences, in keeping with the benefits of the specialized sensory rooms where they are installed, called "Snoezelen Rooms" (see more below).

Working on this commission has been a pleasure and has given me an opportunity for artistic and personal growth. Creating the Murals for this very special group of people has been a collaborative process involving both the staff and the residents of DeafBlind.

DeafBlind Ontario Services website here »

Each mural has a variety of 3-D elements and textures to enhance its visual features. In the Nova Scotia Seascape Mural, jaunty puffins turn their multi-coloured beaks to greet the viewer; their bodies built out from the surface of the mural using a combination of wood, felt and sculptural media such as acrylic modeling pastes and gels.

Vibrantly coloured fins and scales of tropical fish, found in the Underwater Mural, are similarly developed - ready to be touched. The surface of coral and rocks get a rough texture thanks to the addition of coarse sand to their finishing coat of paint. I have enjoyed creating these Visual-Tactile Murals for this very special group of people, especially because it has involved a collaborative process including both the staff and the residents of DeafBlind. Working on this commission has been a great pleasure and has given me an opportunity for artistic and personal growth. - CKD

About Snoezelen Rooms

The Imaginative choice for effective therapy, creative teaching and life experiences. The concept of Snoezelen was defined in the late 1970s by two Dutch therapists while working at a centre in Holland. The centre supported individuals with developmental disabilities.

Over the years the concept has been very successful with increased interest. Resources have become more sophisticated from the early days of tents and home made effects to feather fancies, infinity tunnels, fiber optics and much more. Snoezelen has grown into a world wide movement that has resulted in thousands of installations, conferences and research projects.

Today Snoezelen environments are created for children, adults with disabilities seniors with senile dementia, individuals with mental illness, and persons with chronic pain, challenging behaviors, and brain injury. The reason for its success is that Snoezelen is a wonderful blend of sights, sounds, textures and aromas within an environment that is filled with a variety of images, colors, easy to use devices, buttons, switches, and easy to grasp objects with different textures.

The Snoezelen environment is safe, non-threatening and gently stimulates the senses. All participants experience self control, autonomous discovery, exploration within an environment that is self-directed. Research has shown that Snoezelen/multi-sensory environments provide opportunities for individuals with support persons to develop and enhance relationships. Exploration, creativity can turn any environment into a rich fascinating place to call your own.

Local media about these murals

See media articles about Carol's installations in DeafBlind homes near London, Ontario (in Byron) (Londoner: here ») and Kitchener Ontario (Kitchener Record: here ») . The underwater and Nova Scotia seashore murals are in DeafBlind homes in London (Byron); the rainforest mural is in Jackson's Point, Ontario, and the farm mural in Peterborough, Ontario.

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