Visitors with disability and their carers were invited to join a free program of Tactile Tours during the exhibition.
The program was an initiative between Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe and the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) volunteer guides kindly funded by the Spinifex Trust. AGWA trained guides delivered tours three mornings a week to over 40 visitors and the 23 carers involved. The participants were children and adults with a range of disability. Visitors who were interested booked a Tactile Tour on an individual basis others arrived as part of their group from a local organisation.
A Tactile Tour involves participants visiting some of the sculptures in the exhibition with a trained Guide and exploring them through informed discussion, touch and sound. Individual responses to each of the sculptures experienced is encouraged and shared. The Guides offer verbal descriptions of the sculptures during the tour to visitors who are vision impaired or blind.
The Tactile Tours aim to provide visitors with disability access to the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition and to experience contemporary sculpture in a new and exciting way.
Support staff from Intework described their experience:
“The tour was great and our guys were able to touch the sculptures and were asked lots of questions which were answered with big smiles as they answered correctly of what material was used to make them and if they were hot or cold to touch, also if they were rough or smooth to touch etc . My four clients were very happy with their day and they enjoyed picking out there favourite sculptures.”
Tactile Tour participants with man on ball, Wang Shugang (China), Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2015. Photo Colin Barras