The past two days have been great. The participatory sessions with blind and visually impaired people took place, and I am thrilled with how they went.
The failure of one of the large organisations to step up to the mark left me floundering in some respects, but thanks to the direct support of individuals and small groups (and the power of Twitter) the word was spread widely. The downside is that the relatively short notice period made it difficult for people to attend, so numbers were fewer than I had planned for. Happily, though, that proved to be a great positive. I was able to spend much more time than anticipated with participants on a one-to-one basis, and really gain from being close to the interaction.
I was hoping, perhaps optimistically, that I might just be able to give something back by getting someone engaged with contemporary art that may not otherwise have become so. Wow! One of the attendees was a visually impaired MA Fine Art student with macular degeneration. She told me I had (her choice of words) opened her eyes to new ways of thinking about her approach to her own work. Best of all, one of yesterday's participants, when I asked her what she thought of the work, said she couldn't stop smiling. She had never been to anything to do with contemporary art before.