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Please Touch The Art

Please Touch the Art is an interactive art exhibition where the viewer is encouraged to touch the art as well as experience audio to enhance the experience of these visual artworks.

The exhibition presents a research and development project undertaken by the artist and funded by Wakefield Council Culture Grants which considers how artwork could be more interactive, with particular consideration for the blind and visually impaired attendees that have been part of the research process whilst developing the work. Extracts from these interviews will be played during the exhibition.

View Press Coverage Here 

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  Sound up! Watch and listen to this video. The voices heard are taken from the many interviews I undertook when researching work for this exhibition. All the interviewees were blind or visually impaired and they generously (thank you! ) gave their time to chat to me about their experiences of visiting exhibitions and engaging with visual art.

 

Here’s the audio description:

“There’s different techniques to doing a picture a painting, as long as it’s something you can just go back to and feel” Alan Raynor

“I can see some shadows but I mainly use my touch because I can;t count on vision. If I would have had the chance to choose whether I want to see or not I would have really been like do I really want to see?” Anna Grudna

“Eyesight tends to pinpoint things and hearing is generally. Hears things, sounds from all around.” Hugh Fox

“It’s just any obvious thing to do is just to tap it, to see yeah what’s it made of, it gives you an idea by the sound that’s coming out if” Alan Raynor

“I have a lot of useable sight but I don’t see a lot of detail. Touch is interesting, interactive is interesting” Vicky Verona

“The thing that I’ve realised as my sights got worse, I’ve always defined poverty as words that make me feel something and that’s now how I look at painting and that’s now how I look at painting because you know the saying the radio play is better than the stage play” Sheelagh Robinson

 

There’s also some quotes some of the wonderful feedback on the exhibition showing in the video as follows:

“This was phenomenal! An astonishingly original exhibition”

“Thoughtful and insightful, the pure joy of interactive work”

“I enjoyed the tactility of the exhibition”

“It was wonderful to see such an inclusive activity”

View Gallery

Artists Statement

Throughout my career as an educator I have continuously observed the subtle variations in our individual perception of colour, light, form and perspective. My own diagnosis of a common age-related sight change, triggered a moment of significant reflection, and uncovered a wider fascination with the differences in our vision. I have immersed myself in researching eye conditions and documenting conversations surrounding sight, both of which profoundly inform my creative practice. 

 

In my previous body of work I positioned myself as artistic interpreter, bringing to life through the medium of paint, the experiences of vision generously shared with interviewees connected with sight loss charity Outlookers in Huddersfield. This body of work led me to question how viewers can interact with visual artwork in different ways such as through touch or sound.

 

‘Please Touch the Art’ presents a research and development project funded by Wakefield Council Culture Grants. Through interviews and feedback sessions, primarily with Wakefield District Sight Aid service users, the work was developed to allow a variety of ways to engage with it either by contrasting colours, using embossing or texture techniques to add tactile elements and using audio to create feedback within a painting. The intention was to enhance the viewer experience with particular consideration for blind or sight impaired visitors, however the results make it more engaging for us all. Don’t we all want to ‘Touch the Art?’

 

The exhibition includes large print and braille formats as well as an opportunity to try out some tactile drawings to take home.

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