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A year-long residency developing the use of new technologies in immersive sensory installations for young children

Fibre optic lights in front of felted corals

With a grant from Arts Council England, Ignite! worked with Roma Patel over the course of 2020 and early 2021 as the Artist in Residence for the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity. 

This residency supported Roma to create new works in dialogue with research scientists and local communities. The work employs creativity to inspire curiosity, uses new technologies and takes inspiration from science. It is aimed at young children and families and was showcased in community settings, such as libraries, during the Festival of Science and Curiosity in February 2021. 


Roma Patel is a theatre artist and maker, specialising in interactive playful mixed reality spaces for performance and installation. Roma’s work focuses on the points of intersection between scenography and interactive technologies and her PhD research investigated interactive performance for Early Years.


Since 2000 Roma has designed and exhibited work across the UK and Europe. Recent interactive installations include ‘The Enchanted Forest’ which has been visited by over 10,000 children at Theatre Hullabaloo, Darlington, and ‘Deep Sea Adventures’ which opened in November 2019. Over the last five years Roma has worked with a range of partners and venues to deliver arts and technology based workshops for children and families. Recent work in Nottingham has included being Artist in Residence for Imagine Digital at City Arts, and Digital Artist on Near and Far project for early years arts in museums and nurseries.  For the 2020 Festival of Science and Curiosity, Roma created The Coral Garden, which was installed at St Ann's Valley Library.

You can read an update on Roma's residency on our blog

Artist Roma Patel sitting in the Coral Garden installation with Sheriff of Nottingham
Children sitting inside the Coral Garden installation
Child playing with a torch inside the Coral Garden installation
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