Touch, one of the five senses, is fundamental to the way in which we perceive the world. We use it to distinguish between one object and another, or between ourselves and another. Touch also allows people to experience the qualities of an object – soft, small hard, hot, cold, smooth, gritty – and even come to recognise visual cues for certain textures or familiar sensations.
For an artist, the physicality of their work is a prime consideration. For a painter, the quality of the paint, the imprint left by the brush, the skills required to replicate form, texture, and light, all coalesce to create an artwork. When such works are displayed in an art gallery or museum they are accessible only by sight. Even if the texture of the paint, or the surface of a sculpture are on open display they cannot be touched which creates tension for the viewer. The artists in tactile have created works that do not just limit gallery experiences to what is seen. This is art that invites our touch.
tactile deliberately explores the tempting physicality of installations within the gallery environment. The desire to touch an object is a huge pull for any audience and this exhibition challenges and delights those expectations with a show that is as much visually intriguing as physically accessible. Featuring an array of visual landscapes, playing with material as much as form, Lewers House Gallery is transformed.
Enter this sensory world. For now, the gallery rules have changed: ‘please don’t touch’ does not apply. Reach out and gently, carefully, delicately, make contact. The result will be a tactile sensation.
Artists include Troy Emery, Emily Parsons-Lord, Pip and Pop, Hiromi Tango and Hannah Toohey.
Curated by Marian Simpson.