A quick introduction for everyone, I am Justine Raith, a mature and visually impaired BA (Hons) Fine Art Student and an Ambassador for “Galloway’s Society for the Blind”, a winning artist in the RWS Contemporary Landscape Artist Competition, 2017, Wild Card in Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016 and 2017, Winner of the “Eye Can Award” – Most Inspirational Person, 2016.
My final year proposal
My final year proposal is to produce a series of creating three-dimensional, tactile artworks that could be installed in visually impaired facilities, or in galleries and museums to allow the blind and visually impaired the opportunity to fully engage with art.
The theme of these artworks will be inspired by the four seasons, with the intent of depicting each season with a multi-sensory technique.
My concepts are increasingly being influenced by a range of areas, such as an interest with integrating recognitive movement into an initial prototype. Recognitive stimuli could be found through a number of interactions and cognitive challenges – such as turning a key in a lock, plucking a musical string, or simply tracing a finger over a familiar texture. Movements such as these give opportunity for memories to arise and can create possibilities for narratives to be found throughout the artwork, making interaction an encouraging and enjoyable experience. Other inspirations to date have been drawn from sources such as artist David Hockney, architecture, furniture, ceramics, music, sport, nature, Art Deco, the Renaissance, 1950’s and 1960’s interior design, abstraction and symbolism.
I am purposefully researching and integrating with such a wide range of areas to make the pieces as universally stimulating as possible.
Additional research will be spent on subjects such as colour theory, pattern impact, art therapies and products that aid visually impaired.
Through researching colour theories I have learnt that certain colours like red and black could have negative effects if used in excess. Repetitive patterns and shapes that could resemble facial features could also have negative effects. This research to date and continually will be very informative when developing the designs for my works.
I will also incorporate certain health and safety considerations into the designs of my works, such as the avoidance and preventative measures for absorbent materials, like a wipe-clean polyurethane coating, using rounded edges, making sure that it is non-intrusive at head height and that it is hard wearing not just from visual but physical interaction. I believe these are substantial considerations when creating hygienic tactile piece.
Over the next few months I will be regularly updating my blog with how I created a prototype and the artwork I will be producing, with focus on individual areas of the pieces in concise detail.
Engaging the local blind and visually impaired community is fundamental to my aims and vision, particularly with the sourcing of materials and positively highlighting the ever-evolving nature of art with therapy.
I will be engaging with the staff and service users of “Galloway’s Society for the Blind” and the “DfE VI Forum”, who have agreed to assist and have offered much support to such a worthy project.
I am thrilled to be working on such an exciting project where the work I produce will be “seen” by blind and partially sighted service users, staff and families and the fully sighted.
I hope to make a real contribution to opening up the world of art to the blind and visually impaired to to engage with the fully sighted in asking them to view art in a different manner and also to begin to understand blindness and visual impairments.
Ethics statement and letters and emails of permission
To whom it may concern,
As a student of Fine Art at the University Centre of Blackburn College (UCBC), I am aware of responsibility and trust. I realise that I may be privy to confidential and sensitive information whilst conducting my projects.
It is my pledge that, while carrying out these projects, I will observe the highest possible ethical standards. I will maintain the highest levels of integrity at all times regarding the data I gather. I will only report information that is within the boundaries of the law of Great Britain.
I will report my findings honestly and truthfully.
While acknowledging the rights of all the research participants, I will retain the rights to report, on condition that I have complied with all the ethical protocols outlined below:
- I acknowledge the research is being undertaken with a view to not only helping others, but also to improve my practice.
- The permission of all involved will be obtained prior to the study being undertaken.
- The rules of strict confidentiality will be adhered to. No names will be included in any written report without consent.
- Participants and lecturers involved will be kept appraised of all stages and will have the right to withdraw from the study at any time.
- I will have the written permission of all involved should I use videotapes and/or written transcripts in the future for research or writing purposes.