This booklet arose from a collaboration between Shape and artist / trainer Zoe Partington and some key contributors to our 'Ways of Seeing Art' event that took place at Tate Modern 23 -26 February 2017, as part of Tate Exchange.  Our aim, both in the booklet and in the wider programme, was to increase awareness of the barriers disabled people face in the arts (in this case with an emphasis on blind and visually impaired people), and to encourage arts organisations to experiment with their audio description offer (as well as other forms of access) so that a richer, more creative experience is provided for the public. We also wanted people to reflect on how they, and others, perceive art.

Click here for the electronic version and click here for the audiobook (or access via the link below). 

You can find out more about the events we ran by checking out our blog in 2017, or type Tate Exchange into the search bar on this site, it is in the top header of every page. 

Notes on contributors

Shelley Boden has been an access consultant for 25 years, specialising in interpretation within the museum and gallery sector. She works with disabled people to explore the whole access journey, user testing websites, apps and exhibitions - and is especially keen on making technology work for blind and visually impaired visitors.

Lynn Cox is an interdisciplinary artist and recipient of the 2013 Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship. She is a mentor and artist. A recurring theme of ‘The Power of Darkness’ is the basis for her artistic and coaching/training explorations.

Dr Louise Fryer has been an audio describer since 1993 and teaches Audio Description at University College London.  Her book “An introduction to Audio Description: A Practical Guide” is published by Routledge.

Mel Griffiths is passionate about equality and advocating on behalf of other blind and visually impaired people. She lives in Nottingham with her husband and guide dog.  

Dr Aaron McPeake is an artist who works in a wide variety of media, from cast bell-bronze sound sculpture, to drawing, painting and filmmaking. He has practised and exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. Questions surrounding sensory encounter have been central to his work.

Zoe Partington is an independent artist, as well as creative consultant and trainer for the cultural sector. She is an international advisor and trainer, working with museums and galleries to develop their skills and experience for meeting the needs of disabled visitors.

Liz Porter has worked in the creative industries for over 20 years. With a background in performance storytelling, arts and heritage management, and access consultancy, she is experienced in developing inclusive co-curated projects and encouraging creative interventions within interpretation.

This booklet was created by Shape Arts as part of Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, February 2017. Our thanks go to the Tate Exchange team for making this possible.

Black and White logo of Tate

We also gratefully acknowledge the support of Arts Council England, City Bridge Trust, Cass Art and Sensing Culture project.

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Ways of Seeing Art: Exploring the links between Art and Audio Description © Shape Arts

Contributions © the authors 2017

Cover image: Aaron McPeake Untitled #3963 2007–2008. © the artist