Art the visually impaired can enjoy too
I watched her use her fingers to feel the texture and pattern of the thread stitches. I was showing her the book I had made containing photos which I had enhanced with handstitching. Lily, one of the seniors I teach at a retirement home, has a visual impairment that affects her ability to see detail. She could see the photos had thread on them, but could not see well enough to view the individual stitches. So she let her fingers do her seeing.
I had previously framed each of these photos, but had decided to move them all to one of my handmade books. It was Lily who had inspired me to do this after showing me a book she had made several years ago that contained photos of her paintings, along with a full record of medium, where the scene was from, when sold, etc. I liked the idea of having all my stitched photos together in one place, creating an art book.
I wanted to show Lily the book and let her know that it was she who had inspired me to put this together. Lily has been an artist all her life, exhibiting and selling many paintings, and I have come to admire her very much. We often share our excitement over new pieces, a new technique, or sometimes an older piece. And because of her visual impairment - and vision issues of some of the other ladies at the retirement home - I have tried to adapt the art classes I give so they can all still fully participate.
Watching Lily smile as she felt the photos got me thinking that there is so much art out there that can only be enjoyed by seeing. And most pieces do need to be protected from dirt, light, dust and fingerprints. But why not create one or two textured pieces that can be part of an interactive, touch exhibit, appealing to more than just the sense of sight. Something to think about.
Awakening the heart
Artist - Anne Warburton
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It's taken years to discover the medium I enjoy the most. And how what I have learned before somehow fits into what I am doing now. Even when I travel my needles and threads are with me so I can continue to create while away.