‘Totally Touchable’ follows on from ‘Exploring Tactile Art’. We’re still meeting at Gravesend Library, we’ve got to know each other, thrown some questions in the air, “how do you make art if you’re blind or partially sighted?” “why do you make art?” “how do you view it?” and so, so much more. We hope to answer these, share our findings and art work at our exhibition to be held at The Blake Gallery, Gravesend, during November.
We also have on board a filmmaker, Spaghetti Weston Productions, to document our progress and a research evaluation is being undertaken by Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) into the health and wellbeing benefits of participants in the art group. The findings will be published at the end of 2015. Sharon Manship, Researcher from CCCU, will be joining us throughout.
In June I attended ‘Blind Creations’ a three-day international conference and micro arts festival, exploring the relationship between blind people and artistic creation. The conference, at Royal Holloway’s campus in Egham, Surrey, UK, was co-organized by Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway) and Vanessa Warne (University of Manitoba, Canada). It was incredible, I met some amazing people, and learned so much. I’ve got a lot more learning and sharing to do.
These photos show the group exploring wire, provoked by earlier discussions about self-portraits, do we paint ourselves or make ourselves? Always keen to draw with materials, I suggest that wire is perfect to experiment with. I’ve likened the results to Giacometti’s sculptures. Food for thought!
As for the hand squeezes, they’re my experiment. They may become a ‘Cinderella’ element of Totally Touchable. More on that as we continue.
The project has been funded by Arts Council England, Gravesham Borough Council and Kent County Council.