At Your Fingertips – A Young Arts project for visually impaired children funded by six Kent Societies
Kent Association for the Blind and Aiming High, two charities working with visually impaired adults and children, in collaboration with the education department of Rochester Cathedral, drew up plans for an art project for visually impaired children based around the fresco in Rochester Cathedral. The fresco, with its theme of baptism, was completed in 2004 and was the first to be painted in an English Cathedral for 800 years.
Medway DFAS agreed to try to find funds for art materials for the project. With the help of matched funding from the Patricia Fay Memorial Fund the Young Arts volunteers were able to contribute £500. After learning about the project five other Kent societies, Malling, Mid-Kent, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tenterden and Thanet, offered to donate money and through their generosity more than enough funds were raised so the project could be repeated with another group of children later in the year. The children came to the cathedral where they did a short role-play on baptism and then explored the fresco by looking at it, with enlarged photos of section. In the workshop they created their own interpretations in 2D, collage, sketches, mixed media, clay and plaster of paris and photography. This was to develop ideas and maquettes for 3D representations of the fresco using clay modelling techniques. It is planned that the maquettes will be re-created in full scale in appropriate materials as a lasting legacy giving benefit for sight impaired visitors of all ages in the future.
The second series of workshops Kent societies funded included a larger photography component, which it is hoped will form part of the final exhibition.
Medway DFAS - www.medwaydfas.org.uk
Malling DFAS - www.mallingdfas.org.uk
Mid-Kent DFAS - www.midkentdfas.org.uk
Royal Tunbridge Wells DFAS - www.royaltunbridgewellsdfas.org.uk
Tenterden - www.tenterdendfas.org.uk
Thanet DFAS - www.thanetdfas.org.uk
More information on NADFAS Young Arts - http://www.nadfas.org.uk/what-we-do/nadfas-and-young-people