Tactile Waves Project

The tactile wave project won an annual contest organized by the Ministry of Culture, and featured in an exhibition at the Mario Schenberg gallery in the Funarte building in Campos Eliseos São Paulo, from the 8th to the 25th of October; 1998.

Sculpturing is a form of art that requires touch, and this exhibition had this great characteristic. Everyone at the exhibition was encouraged to feel the sculptures. The aim was to motivate and stress the importance of touch, which has been denied to art lovers for quite sometime.

Who can best develop this sense of touch? The visually impaired.An optical tactile stage signal was set up with help from the Brazilian Association for the Visually Handicapped (LARAMARA), which made it possible for everyone to have easy access to the art work.The work also had text in braille. The visually sound were asked to be blindfolded.In addition to 10 art works in marble and quartzite, portraying the short-lived phenomena of the nature of waves and water drops, a workshop was also set up to encourage participants to try their hands on clay modelling and reproduce their tactile feelings during their visit.

The  main objectives of the “tactile waves” exhibition were to enable the visually impaired have access to art work through touching,  to make the visually sound understand what lack of optical stimulus is, (creating equal opportunities and conditions for both groups to appreciate art work )and finally to compare  their tactile  experiences and different ways of perceiving the sculptures.Another interesting aspect of the project was that, through the stones, people were able to " hold " liquid things; like water drops and ocean waves, ephemeral phenomena of nature that could be " frozen "  at stone.

Although most of the sculptures were identified by braille, the exhibition also provided optical-tactile signals that made access possible for people with different levels of visual impairment. For example; An adhesive strip of constrastant color was set up for people who are partially impaired, and a more voluminous strip that could be felt by the shoes or a walking stick, was set up for those that were completely visually impaired. At the end, all the participants were invited to participate in a guided clay modeling workshop. Their  completed  work were labeled and exhibited, thus bringing people closer to art work.