It’s time to hear from Charlotte Duffy Scott – a cardboard artist who has been working with a group of visually impaired adults who meet regularly as part of the wider As I See It project.  Lets see what they have been up to!

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Working with the As I See It group challenged the way I thought about not just the act of making but the role and responsibility public art has to be truly accessible to everyone in the public. Sight still is the most depended upon sense when it comes to experiencing and consuming a lot of art; statues, paintings, sculptures, video installation – so much of it relies on a foundation of seeing what’s there in front of you but also the presumption that every one who looks at it will be able to see it in the same way as the artist did. We class so much as ‘visual art’ with little thought as to what means to those who are visually impaired.

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The piece we have created is collaborative in a way that I didn’t know was possible, the entire process has been an act of sharing and borrowing skills, views, experiences and opinions from one another in order to create something that, hopefully, can be appreciated through sound, or through touch, or through far away sight or close up sight. In each different way that it can be experienced a different story is told but with a shared foundation in expressing a different point of view.

IMG_20170503_151740Emmanuel has made the most intricate model of a plane. It is small but incredibly detailed and the viewer can see through the windows to the rows of tiny chairs inside, the propellers even spin when you blow on them.  My hands made this piece however it is entirely Emmanuel’s – each week he has described to me every single element he envisions from how many wheels it should have to the specific wingspan it needed. He drew imaginary lines with his fingers for where every cut and every join had to be. He told me off when it felt as though I hadn’t done exactly hat he had asked. We’ve made something together but he is the artist and I was a tool to achieve the image he had in his head.

On first meeting this group all told me of how they’d never made anything out of cardboard before and I replied that we were in the same boat because I’d never made anything without relying on my sight so we could learn together and make our own ways of doing things and representing things. And we truly have.

Charlotte

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As I See It: Missing Statues culminates with a special event at South Block on Saturday 17th June where the statues will be unveiled. They will then be exhibited at South Block from 19th – 23rd June. For more info visit the Facebook event page.