In a bid to make art accessible to the visually impaired, Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) Modern is hosting an exhibition with tactile replicas of works from the artist collective ‘Group 1890’.
The initiative titled ‘Abhas’ has been executed by architecture and access consultant Siddhant Shah, who has reproduced the artworks in the form of embossed abstracts to allow blind people to touch and feel them.
“Through such initiatives we aim to overcome the physical and mental barriers for individuals and make art inclusive for all.
“For visually impaired people, art ends up in making chairs by weaving. So painting or others forms of art are still new for them. The idea is to create abstracts of the original artworks by using similar materials,” he says.
Shah has recreated nine out of 12 paintings exhibited at the show titled, “Group 1890- India’s indigenous modernism” by using sand and bee wax among several others products.
“By touching these tactile replicas which have the same texture and surface as the originals will help them understand what the painting is about and what materials the artist has used in his painting,” he says.
The exhibition features artworks of artists like J Swaminathan, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Himmat Shah, Jeram Patel, Ambadas and Jyoti Bhatt among others from the ‘Group 1890’.
“We want to ensure that an understanding and appreciation of art becomes part of the mainstream lexicon and make it accessible to everybody at a level they can appreciate, and we hope the learning from these will become part of the everyday space for Indian viewers.
“We hope this sensitisation will help the majority understand the importance and relevance of art education and assimilation for the marginalised, who have as much of a stake in art and culture as we do,” says Kishore Singh, President, DAG Modern
To replicate Bhatt’s ‘Face Profile’, that showcases a human face featuring text in Tibetan, Shah has used a moulded motif of a peacock feather which can be felt with hands.
An ‘Untitled’ artwork by Eric Bowen has been reproduced by using Plaster of Paris.
Shah has also designed a book in braille which provides information about the exhibition and the artists whose works have been exhibited.