The role of touch with Kabir Hussein (1/5)

© Olivia Shaw
© Olivia Shaw

Friday 25th June 2010 at The Bradbury Centre, Norwich

An opportunity for the group to experience and value the role of touch in appreciating and understanding world art objects and also explore the surfaces and materials of a range of artists’ materials. This introduction promoted an awareness into how sighted, partially sighted and blind people can access and experience creativity and was a fascinating and lively start. Some of the group were very personally moved by handling the world art objects. Alan, a carpenter until his sight failed after a stroke, was incredibly knowledgeable about wood and was very stimulated by holding and exploring the PNG wooden objects. He used his sense of smell and touch to explore and make connections and through repeatedly touching the carving decided that a mask was based on crocodiles. Some of the others in the group found the objects triggered memories, feelings and associations very strongly and these included accounts of remembering seeing the Benin cast pieces, exotic birds and personal health. Interestingly, Kabir commented that ‘The non sighted people saw the objects more clearly than the sighted’, referring to a focus on the attention to detail. The group then moved on to discussing and touching the different artists’ materials and experiences included wax, plaster, chalk, flint, plastic and metal, after which Kabir explained the casting process he uses and the motivation and feel of his own work.

 

The Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) was founded in 1805 and is the fifth oldest voluntary blind society in England. Their aims are to provide accommodation and care, community visiting services and educational and recreational facilities for all people with poor sight in Norfolk and Norwich. 

http://www.nnab.org.uk/