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< “Rule breaking” exhibition in Arkhangelsk Gostiny Dvory Museum: Exhibits are okay to be touched, smelled and experienced through music and verse >

Arkhangelsk is pleased to announce the opening of inclusive creative space “The Feel of Painting”.

Photo by Artem Kelarev

Designed to reveal the multidimensionality of painting as an art, “The Feel of Painting”allows visitors with visual impairments to see the paintings using tactile sensations, smells,sounds and poetry.

The idea of this exhibition appeared in Novosibirsk Art Center “Krasny” in 2019 Its authors introduce viewers to the works by prominent Siberian artists, expanding the scope of visual perception. The exhibition in Arkhangelsk features fifteen paintings and two sculptures. Given the special nature of this project, the exhibits are selected based on a number of criteria including clarity of image and motif, large-sized elements and limited number of characters.

Unlike ordinary exhibitions, where, say, a painting of a walrus or a bear with her cubs will be featured “as it is”, the exhibits of “The Feel of Painting” are surrounded by a periphery that allows visitors to use their senses to imagine the painting. For example, in front of Yuri Tretyakov’s “Tulips” is the table with scent bottle, vase and 3D printed textured image of the original. There are buttons on the table to start audio description, accompanying music and poems.

Photo by Artem Kelarev

The exhibition’s audio describer, Taisa Marchenko, an expert of the highest class, said that it was in Arkhangelsk that she first saw the exhibition as her activities for this project were taking place solely online.

“As an audio describer, you fall in love the painting and you get to know it closer to understand artist’s technique and the feeling the painting is meant to evoke. But it is no less important to fall out of love with the painting so as to allow our special viewers to shape their own perception. They are not supposed to have the impression that some paintings are loved more than others,” says Taisa Marchenko.

Photo by Artem Kelarev

“The Feel of Painting” organizer, Natalia Kharsa, notes that although the exhibition is designed for the visually impaired, it might be of interest to all categories of visitors.

“Our artworks have proved immensely popular with parents with young children. They can be experienced tactilely and are absolutely okay to touch. And we have a lot of retirees visiting us. Some of them are starting to have problems with vision, and some come because of nostalgia. Many of the poems that we chose to accompany the paintings were written by Soviet poets, so our elderly visitors can remember their school days and how they were learning those poems by heart,” said Natalia Kharsa.

Photo by Artem Kelarev

The opening ceremony was followed by a workshop for the staff of the museums,libraries and cultural institutions in Arkhangelsk Province that accommodate people with visual impairments. The participants said the event turned out to be very informative.

“It is very important that exhibitions accommodate the visually impaired. If they find the exhibition a satisfying experience, then is it a success. We could use some of the technical solutions of this project,” said Lyudmila Tarasova, head of tours and excursions at Malye Korely Museum.

Photo by Artem Kelarev

The workshop was part of the V Arctic Countries Film Festival ARCTIC OPEN.According to its director, Tamara Statikova, the film festival is more than film showings and meet-the-artist sessions. It is designed as a big social and cultural project.

“The Feel of Painting” welcomes visitors until January 10, 2022 and is hosted by Arkhangelsk Gostiny Dvory Museum. QR code proof of vaccination or replacing document isrequired.

Source: Region 29 https://region29.ru/2021/11/10/618a9010cc86c74bc24c3332.html

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