Drawing project carried out with blind and visually impaired persons



Montreal and Liège (Belgium)

In Montreal and in Liège, Belgium, as part of L’Algèbre d’Ariane, an exchange project organized by Dare-Dare (2000), I invited nine blind and visually impaired individuals to take part in a life drawing exercise. With one hand, they were to touch the shaped forms of salt dough and, with the other, transpose their tactile explorations onto a sheet of paper. During the sessions, I traced each of their portraits “blind”, that is, without looking at what my hands were doing. Some of the blind also accepted to trace my own portrait by touching my face. Then, thanks to techniques developed at Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille (Montreal), I embossed part of the sketches, making them “readable” to the touch. I submitted these portraits to two individuals who were blind from birth and didn’t know the particulars of the project. I took note of their comments, which I then associated with the various portraits in the form of brief descriptions also translated to braille. The Colin-maillard installation brings together a number of elements resulting from this process.