Fri 17 November 2017
Baltic
Manchester City Art Gallery
Kettle's Yard
Falmouth Art Gallery
York Art Gallery
Baltic
Leeds Art Gallery

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

This ambitious project saw writer Stevie Ronnie working with two mixed-ability art classes at the Northumberland Church of England Academy, and taking inspiration from the work of Canadian artist Rodney Graham at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. One of these classes contained a blind student. Planning sessions placed this student at the centre from the outset to ensure that her different abilities informed creative writing exercises and classroom practice.

Assistive technology (such as a pen that could record stories and turn her workbook into an audio book) inspired new ideas such as the development of a sound piece that was used to guide visitors around BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Students were invited to meet the artist at a private view.

As part of the commission, writer Stevie Ronnie produced an original pamphlet, Self Portrait as Someone Else, which included two poems in Braille. The resource takes the form of a downloadable pack of creative writing/art exercises and a sound installation (see below for links).

This was an extremely ambitious project for the MRLA, and we were stunned by what Stevie, Louise and the team managed to achieve. There was real pedagogy in the work, and a dynamic teaching style in every page of the resource. It’s also brilliant that there’s a legacy to this project – I think it challenged us all in thinking about how to make creative writing and art teaching more accessible to students with visual impairments.

An article related to this project appears in Writing in Education No. 73.

 

 

This project was made possible through funding from The Max Reinhardt Literacy Award (MRLA). The MRLA is a programme conceived by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust in memory of the publisher, Max Reinhardt. It has been developed with the support of Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, and the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) to enable galleries, art museums and visual arts venues to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work with schools. The Awards are funded by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, with additional support from the Ernest Cook Trust.