A textured piece of collage work, aiming to be inclusive of all abilities!

The group project we were given in Creative Futures week was to basically create a piece of art work that we could then sell on ebay.The group that sold their piece for the highest sum would then get to keep 30% of the profits! We were given a small cardboard box which contained a few marker pens, and a canvas – mmmm not a lot to use there!! So we salvaged lots of materials from around the uni – sand,gravel, glue, bits of glass from the ceramics department etc, and i popped off to the shops to get pasta , spaghetti, sandpaper and other such stuff that we could use.

We mind mapped the project and decided as a group that the issue with art was that it was aimed at only those who were visually able to see it, which then excluded all those that couldn’t.We fel this was unfair and that art should be for everyone to enjoy.I  personally have been interested for a while in the concept of textured art, and the possibilities it brings with reference to the less able viewer. We discussed other limitations such as mental health issues, physical disability, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and the fact that our project needed to have a theme, and needed to make a difference!

The end result was that we decided to use materials that could be ‘experienced’ through the senses of both sight and touch, and also that we didn’t want to ‘hightlight’ the issue of disability and be patronising, but that we just wanted our work to be inclusive!

We decided to do a park theme where the ‘viewer’ would use their hands  to feel their way around the collage, moving up the steps, along the gravel path (made from small stones, spagetti and pasta), being able to feel the flowers, plants and foliage either side of the path (made from pipe cleaners and ripped sandpaper), cross the little wooden bridge, and continue their journey past the rocky mountains (made from an old plastic mould).

We decided that the journey shouldn’t end, but that it was continual, as life is, and we also decided to cater for people suffering with mental health issues by using colours such as blue, green and lilac, which promote relaxation and eliminate anxiety.Inside the stairs two of our group sketched images of able and disabled characters celebrating – with the words ‘ celebrating our differences’, and we signed each of the steps to show our contribution to the project.

When we finished we all tried out the piece by closing our eyes and feeling our way around the canvas.It was amazing! The sensations were really strong and very stimulating, and we felt that this really did allow our piece to be an art work for all!

The end of the project meant that we had to give details for it to be marketed on ebay – mmm think that was the bit we weren’t any good at as i have tried o find it on ebay with no luck – our key words mustn’t  be that good! But the main thing was that we tried! We worked well as a team, and the process was very enjoyable!!!

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