Clay with Visually Impaired Students Babington Community School LeicesterAs Artist in Residence with the Richard Attenborough Centre I worked with a variety of groups and organisations. One such group were Year 8 and 9 visually impaired students and their Learning Support Teachers at Babington Community School on the outskirts of the city of Leicester. Babington is designated high school for integrated education in Leicestershire by the Local Education Authority.
Initially, I was invited to the school to share my experience as an art practitioner with a visual impairment with the Learning Support Teachers and students and to develop and transfer my working methods in 'touch art' for students to use in an integrated school environment. In addition, it was felt that my achievements as an artist would serve as a good role model.
However, I found the students had very little in common in terms of their skills level, understanding of their environment or ability to discuss art either in a tactile or visual way. Many of these issues when examined had their roots in the student's primary school education and or in their lack of exposure and grounding in their local environment.
Consequently, it was necessary to concentrate on making skills and encourage students to investigate the potential of the clay. Using this process to evolve an art vocabulary that was both tactile and or visual where appropriate.
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