“I discover the arts”… An exhibition with 3D works to touch for the blind

An exhibition without a “No touching” sign does exist! Since Monday, the Holy Cross Passage in the center of Nantes hosts the traveling exhibition Tactile Tour, a traveling exhibition that has been traveling throughout France for a year. Presented by the association Valentin Haüy (AVH), these are twelve well-known works, recreated in 3D to allow blind and visually impaired people to discover them by touch.

The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphaelpart of the Bayeux Tapestry, IVitruvian man And The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci… “I am discovering the arts”, whispers Nathan, a 15-year-old blind schoolboy. Running his fingers over the reliefs, he enumerates: “I smell a sailboat, isn’t it a longship? I smell a peasant with a cape, here is his head! Delighted to access a whole section of culture that was unknown to him, this is the first time he has gone to an exhibition like this.

“Details that I did not know”

It was Rémy Closset, an architect by training and visually impaired, who had the idea of ​​modeling existing works in 3D to make them accessible. In the manufacturing process, there is a large part of creation: it is he who decides which element of the painting he will highlight.

Bruno is 74 years old and is visually impaired: he cannot see further than 5 meters in front of him. “I discover details that I did not know”, he says, touching the 3D model of the Marriage of the Virgin. In some cases, the visually impaired even access more information than the sighted! Before the reproduction of The Vitruvian Man of Leonardo da Vinci, Michel, 70 years old and blind, jokes: “I even feel his buttocks! You don’t have that on the original work, you”.

In partnership with the Association for adults and young people with disabilities (Apajh) as part of the festival Handicapthe Tactile Tour exhibition aims to “raise awareness of the needs of blind and visually impaired people”, according to Martine Routon, president of the Loire-Atlantique committee of AVH. In the future, she would like to go further. She is confident: “Technology is changing: we will increasingly have the possibility of fitting out museums to make them more inclusive”.

“A big difference in perception”

At the entrance to the exhibition, sighted people can take a mask to blindfold themselves and live the experience of the visually impaired. “We realize that there is a big difference in perception between us and the blind,” explains Martine, who confides that it was the first time she had heard of works to be touched.

For Raphaëlle Leterrier, programmer at Holy Cross Passage, the bet is successful. The Tactile Tour was also an opportunity to train on accessibility for the visually impaired: “Now we know how to make audio descriptions for the blind. It’s very different from audio guides! »

The free Tactile Tour exhibition remains in Nantes until Saturday, to then spend two weeks in Saint-Nazaire, before continuing its tour of France in Reims, Grenoble, Versailles, Cherbourg and Rennes

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