Portraits of the Blind

Added Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Exhibition from Thursday, October 26 to Sunday, October 29. Unseen Portraits seen and heard for the first time

Portraits that can be seen and heard are to go on show in Yorkshire for the first time.

The life-size, full body portraits of blind and partially sighted people are the work of Hebden Bridge-based photographer Rebecca Dearden, who will be showing the work at the Arts Festival Gallery on Albert Street in Hebden Bridge.

Six students from the Royal National College for the Blind – Nicky Brownlow, Michael Christer, Michael Nicholson, Sally Rich, Martin Rayner and Dawn Voellner – volunteered to appear in the work and to be interviewed for ‘talking images’.

Martin Rayner

Nicky Brownlow

Mike Christer

Sally Rich

Mike Nicholson

Dawn Voellner

Rebecca, whose project was supported by the Arts Council and won a Photo Imaging Council award, also worked with a range of organisations to research the possibilities of tactile versions of the portraits

“The work raised some fascinating questions about the relationship between the photographer and the subject, between the subject and the viewer and about the status of vision,” explains Rebecca.

“Very often, when a photograph is taken, it is done without the subject’s knowledge or permission – or, at the very least, they are unlikely to see the resulting images. Portraits of people who could never physically see the end result highlights this one-way relationship, in which the photographer is in control of the image and the photographed becomes an object for other people to look at.”

More information is available from 01422 843447.

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