Aspects of local wildlife and landscapes (2/5)

The Culture of the Countryside collaborative workshop with Kabir Hussain and NNAB
In this second session of a programme of activities and workshops at the Bradbury Centre in Norwich the Norwich and Norfolk Association for the Blind members initially experienced and responded to a selection of the smaller world art handling objects in the Sainsbury Centre’s handling collection. These included wooden objects from West Africa and ancient ceramics and stone carvings from Central and South America, pieces displaying a variety of carving and modelling techniques. There was a lot of conversation about the techniques used to create three dimensional forms carved in different ways, the possible functions of the objects and how shapes and patterns may have related to native wildlife or landscape. Once the discussions moved to the role of the spirituality in the design and the uses of objects the group naturally began to make connections with their own personal belongings and also with aspects of local wildlife and landscapes. Two more of the members had great experience working with wood. Peter had carved abstract sculptures for over 40 years before losing his sight and had brought some beautiful and lyrical pieces for us all to handle. The group then experimented with soap carving and we all worked in happy silence for over forty- five minutes.  We were realising the potential for visually impaired and blind people to sculpt safely and effectively. Peter the wood sculptor clearly enjoyed himself and amazingly began to create a powerful piece reminiscent of his past artworks.