HERIB (Hull & East Riding Institute for the Blind) and the Hull & East Yorkshire Eye Hospital will be hosting approximately 40 visually impaired artists from across the Yorkshire region along with a number of invited guests to attend a celebration and unveiling event of the A Sight to Behold sculpture at the Eye Hospital on 10th October at 6.30pm.
The artwork was one of 60 projects funded by the Hull UK City of Culture Creative Communities fund and was created by Artist Jemma Brown, Artlink working with visually impaired people from across the region including HERIB (Hull & East Riding Institute for the Blind), SRSB (Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind), YBPSS (York Blind and Partially Sighted Society), Selby District Vision and South Lincolnshire Blind Society.
The main focus for the project was for participants to explore their experiences as a visually impaired individual through tactile medium. After an initial trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to generate ideas, a series of workshops were held where participants explored memories, hobbies, individual conditions, and messages for an audience. Initial workshops were run using luxurious tactile papers supplied by G.F Smith if Hull. Ideas were then developed using modelling materials and cast using poly – resin plastics.
Unlike other pieces of art, visitors will be encouraged to touch & feel the sculpture which is made out of a Perspex plastic so that it was suitable for a hospital environment.
The final design is a culmination of ideas from all participants. Alongside the sculpture is a collection point for old/ unused spectacles. The aim being to create a legacy from the project used spectacles are being collected which will be donated to the charity Jacob’s Well Appeal who will distribute them overseas as medical aid.
The sculpture is not open to the general public but will be enjoyed by the approximately 50,000 visitors to the eye hospital each year.
Ms Sandra Ackroyd, Chief Executive at HERIB says “We were delighted to be selected as one of the Hull 2017 City of Culture creative community’s projects. It has been a really positive experience for all concerned allowing visually impaired people across the region to develop new skills; share experiences, form new friendships and collectively develop a unique piece of art which I believe everyone involved feels a sense of pride to be involved in and which forms a lasting legacy of the city of culture.”
Mr Colin Vize, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust says, “We have enjoyed a strong and positive partnership with HERIB for many years, so when we were asked last year if we would be involved in hosting the Sight to Behold sculpture, we were only too happy to help."
“It’s great to know that the appreciation which visually impaired people have for the arts has not been overlooked in this City of Culture year. Many of our patients have been involved in research work to influence the design of the sculpture, which will now be displayed within the Eye Hospital for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy. The finished sculpture is both unique and striking, and is very tactile; a great way to bring pleasure and enjoyment through the arts to people with sight loss and visual impairment.”
For more information about Hull 2017 UK City of Culture please visit www.hull2017.co.uk