Arlette and Marleen will show us that art does not need to be a visual experience. We can question the dominance of our eyes by stimulating and including other senses. Museums and theatres are increasingly embracing these multi-sensory approaches. Marleen will introduce you to Caro Verbeek, an art historian with a focus on the senses, who will discuss the use of scent and how it helps to evoke specific emotions and associations. Moreover, scent can strengthen the message or impact of a so-called ‘visual work of art’. Marleen herself will tell us more about STUDIO i: a platform for inclusive culture that offers inspiration, expertise and advice to museums that are willing to make their institution more accessible and inclusive.
Arlette will talk about the Stichting Komt het Zien!, which uses live audio description by visual interpreters, to make art accessible to an audience with a visual impairment. As the interpreter describes everything that happens on stage in detail, the experience of the performance can be felt by the whole audience. As a practical example she will refer to Scapino Ballet, also present in the workshop, for which Komt het Zien! developed a live audio description during the performance ‘All hands on deck’.
Marleen Hartjes, project leader at STUDIO i, has been developing educational projects for the Van Abbemuseum since 2009 and is coordinator of the Special Guest program since 2014. In this program she uses tools to make the museum more accessible for people with a visual or auditory impairment and visitors with autism, burn-outs and aphasia. In collaboration with two architects and experts with a disability, she also initiated the Multisensory Museum: an inclusive museum space for all of our senses. In addition, she teaches training courses and advices other museums in the Netherlands to help them be more accessible and inclusive.