Last week I went to Rome with a holiday company called Traveleyes, who specialise in trips for people who are visually impaired, ie either blind or with very limited vision. Half the group are sighted, and in return for a discount act as guides for the VI half of the group. We were paired with someone different every day, and it was the sighted person’s role to describe the scenery and what was going on, and to act as guide (generally by proffering an elbow). There were visual aids in the form of 3D relief layouts of historic sites, and of paintings, and samples to feel of fabrics and musical instruments to play, as featured in Vatican museum frescoes. Carvings to be touched, scented leaves such as the laurel, and a gourmet tour of the best of Italian food, all appealed to the senses.
Today I went on a Drawing Day at West Dean College with tutor Dale Devereux-Barker, with the theme of ephemera about to be discarded. I took some old printmaking failures, unbalanced earrings, and other bits and pieces, and decided to make something that a VI could make sense of, reminiscent of the trip. The columns are an old collagraphp, cut up and with added 3D strips vertically and horizontally. Will paint in a bit more detail with pva. The fountain is using an old acid etched Lino print and a tube ticket, and the sculpture an entry ticket. The hands have been emphasised with wood shavings, and glue may be added here for texture too. The Roman pavement is cut from pieces of card and carved to show the lines and the steep angles of the sides of the stones.
This is a project that could be developed on in a variety of ways and the challenge is to make it appealing to both the sighted and VIs.