A three-day exhibition that showed how people with visual impairments can appreciate a wide range of art forms was unveiled at the Science Museum on 8th August 2017.
The clinician behind the interactive ‘Science of Sight’ experience, Dr Mariya Moosajee, hoped the sensory pieces on display, taken from the Blind Art collection at Moorfields Eye Hospital, would help to “promote tactile art” and artworks based on smell and sound.
Some of the more interesting exhibits I came across on my visit to the exhibition were a giant red blood cell, whose crescent-like shape could be examined by feeling its smooth velvet-like form, and a set of small, light-weight cardboard boxes that, upon opening, emitted soothing scents such as coconut, cinnamon and rose.
Demonstrating the beauty in sound were traditional-style hand crank music boxes, which emitted delicate, harmonic tunes when wound up.
The exhibition also gave Dr Moosajee, a keen advocate of art’s accessibility to everyone, the chance to tell visitors about her research and to help educate the public about conditions relating to sight and the eyes.
For example, a video that was played on the first day, entitled ‘How to grow a retina in four steps’ (see https://vimeo.com/227432768), demonstrated how stem cell technology might be used to increase the understanding of genetic eye diseases, as well as help find new treatments for them.