David Franchi – Monday, 04 November 2013.
Emily Davison by Nendie Pinto -Duschinsky 2013 © Nendie Pinto -Duschinsky
Touch Art Fair, London, was probably the first exhibition of its kind in the UK. During the Frieze week, Touch Art Fair has made a great leap forward to the appreciation of blind people.
The relish of art comes mostly from visual senses, which is not suitable for blind people of course. Those with visual impairment have not the pleasure to enjoy art in the same way of fully sighted people, and therefore, they develop a special idea of art.
Starting from this point, in the last twenty years the concept of art as a visual medium has been reconsidered, in the sense of creating visual images in a format which can be usable for blind people.
Our personal knowledge comes from our sensorial experiences; we develop through childhood to adult life. When there is a lack of one of the senses, the individual will use the others to balance. The lack of sight means to have a different conception of shape, mass, size and colour.
The Touch Art Fair is part of this movement which aims to overcome sight limitations by allowing people to enjoy art in a tactile sense.
In a society where everything is at your fingertips but you are still not allowed to touch, spect- actors were invited to participate in a
Tactile Portrait of Emily Davison by Nendie Pinto -Duschinsky 2013 © Nendie Pinto -Duschinsky
sensory fête. They were encouraged to reactivate their forgotten senses and to experience art in a more intimate way.
The Touch Art Fair challenged conventions and makes art accessible to people with sight loss through touch. The motto for this event was: “Please do touch!”
Touch Art Fair is a non-profit organisation in London aiming to help visually impaired people but also those fully sighted to rethink the way they perceive art.
All of the artworks have had additional tactile features, with the option of touch. And it’s not just for the visually impaired.
The Touch Art Fair was at 35 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 4QA, from 17th to 20th October 2013.