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A rare opportunity to freely touch gallery art and sculpture has drawn visually impaired and blind people into the Suter Art Gallery in Nelson, made possible by ABC member Kate Halkett and Gallery Director Julie Catchpole.

Blind See Art Tim Wraight alongside Curator Anna Marie White explains his show small

Tim Wraight alongside Curator Anna-Marie White explains his show.

The artist, in this case local sculptor Tim Wraight, is on hand to discuss the story behind the works, and to encourage a tactile response. ‘These works need to be touched,’ he says, ‘and most people won’t.’ The sight-impaired come armed with binoculars, monocles and magnifying glasses, while others need to stand well back to make use of what long distance vision they still retain.

Blind See Art Dec Maureen Bettany and Gill Clayton small

Maureen Bettany and Gill Clayton

For Gill who went suddenly blind at the age of 27, the need to be part of the artistic world did not disappear along with her sight. The opportunity to feel the works and hear the artist and curator talk is a stimulating delight. ‘It’s so good to get some culture,’ enthused one sprightly octogenarian as she lent on the arm of her seeing husband.