“Please DO touch the artwork.”

When I came back from walking in the wilderness last weekend, my wife told me about an exhibition she had been to at the Botanic Gardens.  We went back there the next day.

It is an interesting exhibition: Two Voices.  It is the work of two artists – a blind photographer, Rosita McKenzie, and Rebecca Marr, her sighted collaborator.

The pictures were interesting: they had a slightly random quality to them – there were parts that were out of focus, there were different angles.

But more interesting were the tactile representations of the pictures that accompanied each one.  Printed on raised paper, they enable one to actually feel the photographs.  Some of these prints were transliterations of the photos, others were interpretations.  The sign on the wall read “Please DO touch the artwork.”

There are also spoken descriptions of each picture, and lots of materials in Braille – fascinating to touch.  The spoken descriptions are equally beautiful.

I am not sure how the two artists worked together, but the outcome is fascinating.

The exhibition runs until October 1.

It reminded me of a film about a blind photographer – Proof, in which the photographer (played by Hugo Weaving – later of the Matrix; “Proof” is a far more sensitive movie!) compulsively takes polaroids just to make sure that he records the events he can’t actually see; he then gets people – such as a young Russell Crowe (later of – ) – to describe what he has photographed.


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