News and Views

Glucksman exhibition helps visually impaired ‘see’ art

25 Jul 2018
TV3 filming Fiona Kearney, Director of the Glucksman, and UCC student Fred McCarthy during a preview.

The Glucksman gallery at UCC will this week launch a new exhibition led by touch, enabling visitors to experience and feel artworks they cannot see.

The ‘Josef and Anni Albers: Voyage inside a blind experience’ exhibition, which will be launched this Thursday (July 26) and run until November 4, explores how a visual art exhibition could be experienced by partially sighted and blind people.

Presenting major works from both artists and a unique opportunity for Irish audiences to explore what it means to learn about art through touch, the exhibition will also feature tactile models, braille texts, and playful art encounters led by touch.

"It is a humbling and powerful experience to consider what it means to navigate the world through touch. UCC is a leader in the field of disability services, and we are proud to enable our students and the wider public to engage with art in this pioneering exhibit,” said Fiona Kearney, Director of the Glucksman.

Works on display will include Anni Albers’ hugely influential textile worksJosef Albers’ renowned Homage to the Square paintings, and a selection of his record cover designs, accompanied by the original jazz music.

“To have these masterworks in the Glucksman is a privilege and I am hugely grateful to the Albers Foundation, the Arts Council of Ireland and the Creative Europe programme for their support in presenting such an important show in Cork and Ireland,” Kearney added.

The exhibition includes a darkroom where visitors are invited to explore objects by touch, as well as a section that reflects on the importance of Albers’ teaching that emphasised a sense of feeling as well as seeing art.

In partnership with UCC Disability Support Service, Arts & Disability Ireland, ChildVision, Fighting Blindness and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Glucksman will offer tours and workshops for the visually impaired.

Events for the public will include touch tours of the UCC Art Collection for Heritage Week in August, torchlight explorations of the gallery after dark on Culture Night, and school and community workshops for all ages and abilities. Upcoming events are available on the Glucksman’s new website www.glucksman.org, designed by Pixel Design, Dublin.

“This special show invites people who are visually impaired to share in the museum experience. It is a tribute to the staff of the gallery that they are continually seeking new ways to connect all audiences with contemporary art,” commented Lawrence O’Hana, Chairperson of the Glucksman’s Board of Directors.

Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Albers Foundation said: “I now realise, that knowing Josef Albers, the devout Catholic, the man of heart, and knowing her, Anni Albers, the woman of consummate empathy with anyone who has any form of disability’, even as she accorded little attention to her own, they would have been fascinated by this idea of extending their sense of seeing to those who cannot see with their eyes, whose physical impairment makes it impossible.”

Developed in partnership with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Atlante Servizi Culturali, along with the expertise of l’Istituto dei Ciechi di Milano, a leading institute for people who are visually impaired in Milan, Italy, the exhibition is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Following its presentation at the Glucksman, the exhibition is touring to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia. 

The official launch will take place tomorrow (Thursday, July 26) at the Glucksman at 6 pm. All welcome. 

For more on this story contact:

For media requests, contact Lynne Nolan, Media & PR Officer, UCC, on 087 210 1119 or lynne.nolan@ucc.ie.

University College Cork

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