Three-dimensional paintings for blind people
The aim of this project is to combat the exclusion of blind people from the world of art by allowing them through touch to discover famous paintings re-interpreted in 3 dimensions and placed in museums next to the original works. This approach to painting enables the visually impaired to discover individual works of art by themselves. More than just 3-D models, the reworking of these paintings in a contemporary way are works of art in themselves, the result of long artistic and tactile research, which offer an emotional experience equivalent to what sighted people feel when looking at a painting.
The interpretation in 3-D of these pieces and their realisation in clay is the fruit of an on-going process after the initial technique was perfected at Cercco HEAD- Geneva.
The priority of the work is to create a 3-D clay representation of a painting maintaining its technical characteristics with the use of glaze. Light is represented by the multitude of textures in the clay.
The monochromatic finish creates an effect that relates the work to contemporary art and a wide range of styles, from abstraction to figurative painting, can be explored.
These pieces have been tested by people of differents ages with various degrees of blindness. In June 2012, the 3-D version of Van Gogh’s autoportrait was placed next to the original painting in the Musée d’Orsay and confirmed the interest of the visually handicapped to complete and fill in the missing details.
In 2013, a documentary was made of visually handicaped people discovering the work and expressing their experiences.
In the future, a selection of paintings will be chosen in colaboration with a museum to create a contemporary exhibition of work in 3-D. The criteria for the choice of these paintings will be both the technical possibility of creating sufficient tactile relief and the artistic coherence of the exibition as a whole.
Another goal of this project is to allow blind people to share their experience with sighted members of their family and friends.
In addition, the re-interpretation of particular paintings in this way is an exellent learning tool for anyone interested in teaching and discovering art in a new, contemporary way.
This body of work was exhibited at the Ophthalmic Hospital, in Lausanne, Switzerland, from June to November 2013.