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Visual Art: Seen – Unseen tour for blind or visually impaired people, National Gallery of Ireland

22 Jun 2017 (Past)

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Seen – Unseen is an art project by artist Clare McLaughlin. It deals with the non visual exploration of art and allows blind or visually impaired people to experience art through touch.

Clare’s thesis, for her BA (Hons) in Visual Art, explored the haptic, or sensory experience of art. In a predominately visual world, she began investigating how people with a visual impairment could access art and what could be done to highlight and improve their access.

“I enlisted the help and cooperation of NCBI. They were very helpful and gave me access to a lot of research material on organizing an event for people with sight loss”.

The first Seen – Unseen gallery visit was in May 2014, in the West Cork Arts Centre’s Bealtaine exhibition. This was a community art exhibition, with various exhibits including painting, sound, installation, found objects, printing, and text.

Since then there have been 14 VIP gallery visits including The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, The Crawford Gallery in Cork, The Butler Gallery in Kilkenny, The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, The Glucksman Gallery in Cork and most recently, The Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College Dublin.

The June Seen – Unseen VIP gallery visit will form part of the celebrations for the reopening of renovated wings of The National Gallery of Ireland.

Tours will take place on Thursday, June 22nd at 17.30 and 18.30. Each visit will last 1 hour and will include a tactile exploration of two Vermeer paintings and a walk through the exhibition
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry.

Wayfinding information is available by contacting Clare as below.

Email: claremclaughlin@eircom.net
Telephone 086 309 1653

Watch: Seen – Unseen VIP visit at Crawford Art Gallery, Cork

Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid by Vermeer, National Gallery of Ireland, Seen - Unseen Tour, March 2016

Clare has done so much to encourage blind and visually people to consider Visual Art, to revisit an interest in art, to get involved in art and much more.

Brenda Behan, NCBI

Madonna and Child, Seamus Murphy, VIP visit to The Crawford Gallery, Cork, October 2015


Clare McLaughlin
National Gallery of Ireland
Touch tour
visually impai