Page last updated at 07:57 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Art exhibition caters for blind

Mark Cox
Mark Cox said he wanted his exhibition to accessible to as many people as possible

A professional artist is staging an exhibition of landscapes, seascapes and street scenes that cater for people who are blind or partially sighted.

Mark Cox has made 3D scale wooden replicas of some his paintings so people can feel the subjects as well as view them.

He will also be on hand at Carmarthen Library to describe the images when the exhibition opens later this month.

He worked with members of the town's Blind Society to trial the reliefs.

Mr Cox, a retired policeman, has been painting professionally for six years and although he has exhibited widely this will be his first in his home town.

He said: "I got to thinking how I could make it as accessible as possible so everyone could go there.

Original painting with  the relief
He created the 3D reliefs of his paintings from MDF and plywood

"I knew the library had a lift to the gallery but I got to thinking about partially sighted and blind people and how I could involve them.

"I thought I could be present to physically describe the paintings and also make some sort of scale relief of the paintings themselves."

He set about creating the replicas of the contours and shapes in his paintings using MDF and plywood. Each took about half a day to make.

"I reduced the scale so they can be handled while I explain the painting," he added.

"I took them along to members of the Blind Society and got their views on it which were very positive."

Rhian Evans, who runs Carmarthen's talking newspaper, said usually she and her friends did not visit art exhibitions but have a trip planned for when it opens.

"I think it's an excellent idea. Lots of us have had sight so with the reliefs and the descriptions we can conjure up images of the paintings.

"It is really great that he put this great effort into it."

Mr Cox said he would be happy to walk around the exhibition with any blind or partially sighted visitors but suggests they contact him via his website beforehand so he can ensure he is present.

The exhibition, which will also support the cancer charity Macmillan, runs from 28 November to 4 December.

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