I feel so passionate about the fact that art should be accessible for all, not just for the visually able! How sad it is to see Art Galleries set out with most of the paintings on walls, often behind glass – but very much out of reach? I respect the fact that not all Art can be viewed and experienced by a visually impaired person, but i feel that there should be more places/venues catering for this sector of society, as well as many other disabilities, and also that they should be incorporated into everyday exhibitions rather than standing out as being something catering for the less able.We do so often highlight and disable people in our society when we need to be more inclusive. Also why do we think that the only way to view art is through the eyes? what about our other senses? To touch a piece of art, to smell it, to hear it…and maybe even to taste it (although not sure how that one would work) would be amazing!

For those of us who are blessed with sight maybe we could close our eyes for a while and journey around the exhibition ourselves, heightening our other senses as we remove the distractions caused by the critical eye?

I will endeavour to look into this further to address this issue.I am interested in textured inclusive art, but may also look into incorporating light (as some visually impaired people can recognise light) the use of colour, smell, and sound – in the hope that i can address the imbalance in equality, and the noticable discrimination some disabled people must feel.

I think this issue will become the main focus of my professional development practice, and something i will work on over the next three years i am at uni.

The image below is of an interactive art piece , which looks great fun!

taken from http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://ndn3.newsweek.com/media/24/Art-and-the-Blind-wide-

Interactive Art that can be enjoyed by visually impaired people

How refreshing to see that there are people who are making great changes in this area already such as Blind Art.

The following was taken from the website –http://www.blindart.net/

“BlindArt is a charitable organisation based in UK whose aim is to encourage participation and interaction of the visually impaired in the sighted domain of the visual arts.
BlindArt promotes artists; both sighted and visually impaired, to showcase their work through competitions, exhibitions, fairs, shows and private commissions.”

“The BlindArt Permanent Collection will be permanently housed at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), Hereford. RNC is a key player in European innovations in the teaching and training of learners with sight loss and the leading international Resource Centre promoting a range of services to people with sight loss and professionals working with them.”

'Touching Art,Touching You Exhibition,Royal Cornwall Museum 2008

‘The revolutionary contemporary art exhibition, “Touching Art Touching You”  launched its multi-sensory, interactive art experience at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, between 26th July to 4th October 2008. “Touching Art Touching You” is a fresh and unique concept on the arts landscape. The exhibition breaks through traditional hierarchies & barriers in the arts by actively encouraging all works to be explored through touch. By shifting the established rules of art appreciation from sight (look) to the sense of touch (feel) the gallery experience instantly becomes an intimate, fresh and liberating art experience ‘(www.blindart.net)

I was overjoyed to see the comments written by two people that had attended the exhibition as i think it says it all!!………

“Over throwing years of not being allowed to touch art. Quite mind bending”.
Exhibition visitor

“Felt nervous and excited touching the art. Taboo/freedom/liberating.”
Exhibition visitor

say no more?