Hello my name is Alison Lewis and over the years my photography has allowed me to meet and work with some wonderful people. When Wendy asked me if I would like to come along and see what she gets up to in one of her workshops for the KAB I really didn’t know what to expect. Apart from all of us been covered in paint, plaster and having fun making a big mess.
One question I had was how did the blind and partially sighted work together to create these beautiful art pieces? If you can not see, then how does this work? What I witnessed was heart warming and inspiring.The Kent Association for the Blind Medway and Gravesend Art Groups are led by Artist Wendy Daws. With the blind and partially sighted artists meeting at Gravesend Library recently for an 8 week project ‘Exploring Tactile Art’ and has continued with 3 months of art making to create ‘Totally Touchable’. This is where I met them.
Everyone was so welcoming and enthusiastic. With cups of tea all round and lots of chatting going on. The table quickly filled up with as much art equipment to fill a shop. Props and tactile pieces were provided by Wendy and Living Paintings. The theme this time being Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. After sketching a little on paper, everyone then got stuck in with their own individual canvas using different techniques and materials to create their interpretation of Sunflowers.Other activities took place including taking moulds for their casted hand squeezes and getting everyone’s thumbprints on to paper. These have been turned into ‘Totally Touchable’ pieces where you can explore texture.I spent time walking around the room talking with each artist and realised that this group means very much to them. Many of them don’t protest to be the best at what they do but they get so much enjoyment out of being involved with it. The art group is helping them to socialise even more and have fun. Exploring through touch and different techniques with support, their happiness and confidence has grown.Photographs and diary entry by Alison Lewis
Thank you very much to Alison for the great photographs and joining us, we’re looking forward to meeting up again.