Tate St Ives announces activities for people with visual impairments following a two-year hiatus during the Covid pandemic

Tate St Ives has relaunched its programme of free activities for visitors with a visual impairment, following a two-year hiatus during the Covid pandemic. These events offer people who are blind or partially sighted a warm welcome to gallery and a variety of ways to engage with the artwork on display at both Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The Spring programme of events includes ‘Talking Art’, a morning of conversation and activities that bring to life the art on display in the current exhibition. This event has been running at Tate St Ives for 18 years and is much loved by regular attendees. There will also be new Sensory Explorer Tours of the garden at the Barbara Hepworth Museum.

The team also continue to offer Touch Tours – which give the opportunity to touch and discuss the composition, materials and histories of a number of iconic artworks at Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum.

Georgina Kennedy, Learning Curator: Public Programmes at Tate St Ives said:
‘We are delighted to be relaunching our offer for visitors with a visual impairment after having to close during the pandemic. Many people have been isolated and limited in what activities they can access – and we know for some this may be the first time they have visited a gallery since the pandemic, so we are planning an extra warm welcome. These events provide alternative ways into the wonderful art on display, using touch, audio descriptions and multi-sensory experiences. They are suitable for new and regular visitors – no previous art knowledge or experience is required – our friendly team will tailor the sessions to the needs of the participants.’

Full listings:

Talking Art
26 March 2022
1100 – 1300

This regular programme of making and talking designed for visually impaired visitors and friends has been running at Tate St Ives for 18 years. The events are held each season and offer detailed spoken descriptions of works of art on display, alongside practical making activities which bring the artworks to life. The March event will introduce visitors to the current exhibition by Vietnamese artist Thao Nguyen Phan. Thao Nguyen Phan is internationally renowned for her poetic, multi-layered artworks which explore the historical and ecological issues facing her homeland Vietnam, while speaking to broader ideas around tradition, ideology, ritual and environment. The threat posed by the destruction and excessive consumption of Earth’s resources is a recurring theme. This exhibition brings together a selection of Phan’s videos, paintings and sculptures from the past five years, alongside new works. This session, led by Learning Specialists Susanna Webster and Cassie Penn, will explore Phan’s silk paintings including an opportunity to create your own, with all materials provided.
Talking Garden: Sensory Explorer Tours

7 and 18 May
An extra special sensory exploration of the sculpture garden at the Barbara Hepworth Museum. Designed specifically for visitors who are blind or partially sighted and their friends, the session includes detailed spoken descriptions and a guided exploration of the garden with a focus on the plants and trees that create this magical environment for Hepworth’s sculptures. Planned in conversation with the Hepworth Gardener, these sessions are led by Susanna Webster and Cassie Penn.

Touch Tours – daily – with prior booking

In addition, Tate St Ives is delighted to be bringing back the highly acclaimed Touch Tours. Accompanied by a Touch Tour guide, and wearing sculpture conservation gloves, this is an opportunity to touch and discuss the composition, materials and histories of a number of iconic Tate collection works at Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.