Please Touch: the museum returns 3 tactile works of art for the blind | Calcutta News

Kolkata: “PLEASE TOUCH” reads a sign in front of three works of art installed in the Indian Museum’s painting gallery, a clear departure from the usual “DO NOT TOUCH” warning in museums.
The museum transformed two paintings and a sculpture into tactile works of art that can be “seen” by the blind. This is the pilot project of what the museum promises to be an ongoing effort to make more exhibits in painting and other galleries accessible to people with disabilities, especially visually impaired people for whom the Indian Museum has been established. a dark space so far.
“Until now, the blind have not had the opportunity to see the rich and diverse repository of the two-century-old Indian museum. This is the first of many important steps we intend to take to make the Indian museum more inclusive, ”said Indian museum director Arijit Dutta Choudhury, who had accepted the initiative when suggested by the curator of the Arnab Roy painting gallery.
Roy had been embarrassed for years by the lack of access to works of art by the blind. Encouraged by the director’s nod, he began, along with ceramic artist Gargee Ghosh and Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy director Biswajit Ghosh, an experiment on how to make works of art visible to children. visually impaired. The experiment has been dubbed “The Melody of Touch” after the name he gave to a painting of a blind girl smelling a flower on Central Avenue three decades ago. “We created a 3D impression of the paintings. To begin with, we converted two works: “Simul Tree” by Binodbehari Mukherjee and “Tear on a Lotus Leaf” by Abanindranath Tagore. We have also created a replica of the 18th century sculpture, “Women Playing the Tambourine”. I tried to transform the lines and shades of the paintings into a tactile model. The works were developed in clay and cast in plaster, ”Roy said.
Students at RKM Blind Boys’ Academy helped provide a brief note on the artist and his braille work.
Museum education officer Sayan Bhattacharya, who has made its online programs more inclusive by providing a platform for people with disabilities to express themselves, said the effort will continue. “We have ramps and elevators with braille buttons. There are disabled toilets for both men and women. The signage and descriptions of the Bharhut gallery are in Braille. Over the next year, we will try to create a section in each gallery, where the blind can have an experience. Work is also underway on an audio guide, ”he said.

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