1 North Square, Cambridge, ON
Transformed Through Touch is a collaborative project with the deaf/blind community and with artists Gareth Lichty, Gary Kirkham, and Meghan Sims. Inspired by a series of creative experiences at the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind and the Canadian Deafblind Association Ontario Chapter, this project will culminate in an immersive, multisensory public art installation at our Queen’s Square Gallery.
The installation will feature multi-sensory components that enhance and heighten kinetic, sonic, tactile, and visual stimulation. Free from the normal ‘Look! Don’t touch!’ stipulations typical of art gallery and museum experiences, it will encourage visitors to counter-intuitively experience 'What it feels like’.
This project was made possible through the Ontario Arts Council Artists in Communities and Schools Projects Grant and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.
Please note there are limited Gallery hours during March Break (Monday, March 12 - Friday, March 16) which are 10:00am - 12:00pm, 1:00 - 3:00pm, 5:00 - 7:00pm.
Gareth Lichty studied Fine Arts at York University in Toronto and Sculpture at Leeds University in England. He has exhibited internationally and nationally with exhibitions in Europe, New Zealand and Canada. Lichty has been a Director and the Chair of Programming for CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener and Area) since 2005. He has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. Lichty lives and works in Kitchener, Ontario and is represented by Peak Gallery, Toronto.
Meghan Sims was born in Kitchener Ontario in 1980 with a rare visual condition called Achromatopsia. Being an achromat, Sims carries a unique visual perception of the world around her. It is this perception that has shaped and become characteristic of her artistic style.
The artist is fully colourblind, near sighted and extremely sensitive to light; causing day blindness. These factors have inspired a lifelong curiosity with the idea of perception, light and shadow, both with and without the emotional values of colour.
In an effort to grasp the qualities of light, Sims sought private instruction in the world of photography. A fast bond was made and after two years of study, photography became an intrinsic piece of the artist’s process. Manipulating tonal values of light allowed for demonstration and experimentation of different perceptions. Sims drew great inspiration and visual kinship from the work of Hungarian Photographer Brassai.
After years of self-taught experimentation, Sims returned to school where she was able to refine her artistic voice and diversify her skills. Here, she strengthened her oil and acrylic paint techniques and began a new investigation into the properties of light; through glass blowing. Sims wishes to continue to polishing her glass design skills and evolve the role light plays in her work.
Through her work, Sims hopes to communicate her visual perception with the world around her. Ideally, the artist strives to open a dialogue where education and communication around differences in perception are contemplated; especially where the idea of disability is concerned. Sims believes that through connection, healing and growth can take place; making art a universal communicator for all to see.