Artwork visible by fingers

Artwork visible by fingers

Banja Luka, January 29, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

RS Museum of Contemporary Art has successfully completed the first exhibition of artwork adapted for the blind and visually impaired persons, called “Shape, space, touch” and which aroused great interest not only in BiH but also the region.

The exhibition is an original setting arranged by Museum manager, Sarita Vujkovic, and curator, Zana Vukicevic. It is interesting that the visitors who don’t have problems with their eyesight, often touched special panels with the same artwork adapted for blind persons. Masa Davidovic, one of the curators of the Museum, said for IBNA that this is the first such exhibition in the RS, probably in BiH, and for its setting was necessary to establish cooperation with the institutions in Zagreb.

“These adapted replica of original paintings and sculptures were processed in a special way. Blind persons could touch the custom models that stood near the original work. Images are adjusted so that the lighter colors were more prominent and darker recessed. Darker colour on this model is deeper and vice versa”, Davidovic said.

She explained that around the painting “The Garden”, author Radoslav Tadic, lavender was set in order to make these people to experience the sense of smell of the picture. In addition, the Museum made audio recordings that blind visitors can listen contained the biography of the artist and a brief description of the work. The biggest interest caused a catalog of the exhibition, on Braille.

“The exhibition was very well attended and we received very positive reactions. It is a complex project and customization for blind persons need to be made in a special way”, Davidovic explained.

Co-author of the exhibition, the manager of the Museum, Sarita Vujkovic, said that the closure of the exhibition in Banja Luka doesn’t mean it’s end. After Banja Luka, the exhibition will be set up in several cities in the region including Zagreb and Belgrade. It is intended that the exhibition will be set in Sarajevo and in other cities in BiH.

“Due to the specificity of the exhibition and the audience which should feel it, approach the area in which it is installed must be adapted for people with specialized needs. Furthermore, these projects are very expensive and difficult to organize it because we need to make models, record audio guides about abstract artworks in a manner adapted to the blind”, Vujkovic said.

Replicas of works “visible” to the blind were made by Nemanja Micevic designer. He adapted photographs of the artworks so that special software could make an engraved replica. Models were made by Banja Luka artists. The choice of materials and the workmanship is probably unique in this region.

“Museums which earlier organized exhibitions for blind people usually allowed them to touch these artworks but we did it in a different way. We have been working replicas of sculptures that they touched and the adapted replica images have dimension 50×50 centimeters”, Vujkovic explained.

The special effect of the exhibition is the fact that employees at the museum learned that, as she said, anything is possible. Till this exhibition, they didn’t realise that it is possible to show, even abstract paintings, to people who do not see it, that it is possible to make such an exhibition not just for people who have this handicap, and that visually impaired people can be a part of this cultural event.