A new extraordinary exhibition is about to be launched in Valletta offering a very different experience to “viewers”. Tactile: 12 Concealed Sculptures is the first international exhibition with blind people in mind, putting all attendees on the same level.
Jesmond Vassallo, the artist in charge of the exhibition spoke to Newsbook.com.mt. “I made sure that all the information in the exhibition would be accessible in Braille,” Vassallo said explaining that he chose sculpture as an art form because the shapes are self-explanatory. He said that when one touches a sculpture, he knows if it’s hot or cold, smooth or rough, or spiky.
The typist Bridget Micallef, who was also there for this interview, said that people both blind and otherwise will be on equal footing. Micallef, who is blind herself, remains as active as possible. In fact, she has also visited a museum in Rome which also allowed her to touch the statues.
Vassallo said that he used to try going to his studio blindfolded while working on the project. “You’d think you’d be able to tell distance and shape, but you’d be wrong,” explained the artist.
He said that the most difficult part of this project was to try and reach as many people as possible, both blind and otherwise. “A few minutes of quiet should be a pleasant experience,” said the artist who added that the exhibition should inspire self-reflection after attending.
The project includes artists from Malta, France, Italy, and Japan. The exhibition will be held at the University of Malta Valletta Campus between the 5th October and the 4th November.