Tactile books have been around for a long time. They’re fantastic objects for introducing the magical world of books to very young children who are blind or visually impaired. You can read about the Tactile Book Advancement Group here, and about how to make fabric tactile books here. You can also find out more here about Vision Australia’s Feelix Library. It’s a great Braille book library for children who are blind or have low vision.
(Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are respectfully advised that a person in a photograph in this post has passed away.)
Researching online can be a bit like taking off on a magic carpet ride.
There’s that sense of wonder at clicking on a website and easily navigating your way to a masterpiece. You can zoom in on the details of brushstrokes, handwriting, gesture. You get to see works that you may never see otherwise.
More prosaically, it certainly helps me to look at artworks closely when I’m editing a text describing them!
Do you ever get used to visiting a digitised treasure chest? I still feel like a genie’s spread the wishes of the world before me: a wealth of treasures … famed works at my fingertips … the power of creativity, right there on screen …
Last week I was in an inner-city cafe, gathering my thoughts before an important meeting. Without thinking, I did what I always do to calm down. I quietly began studying everyone and everything else around me.
There were the guys behind the counter; the people lining up for coffee; local office-workers at other tables, having meetings over laptops; two young men hovering around out the front, smoking quick ciggies; the hints of traffic movement and light in the busy street outside.
It was a small, noisy place. My eyes lingered on the delicious food on display. But what really stood out was the wall beside me.
It’d been completely covered with wallpaper depicting trompe-l’oeil shelves filled with old-style hard-back books, from floor to high ceiling. Continue reading →