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1 June 2010

Altered Images - an innovative exhibition, designed to stimulate engagement with the visual arts by people with disabilities, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art from 17 June 2010 to 15 August 2010

The exhibition comprises works from the collections of South Tipperary County Council, Mayo County Council and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, all of which have been selected and curated with a view to creating an exhibition which is accessible, interactive and inclusive for all, but especially for those with disabilities.

Altered Images includes work by Thomas Brezing, David Creedon, Alice Maher, Caroline McCarthy and Abigail O'Brien, with specially commissioned works by Amanda Coogan and Daphne Wright.

The idea that a visual art exhibition should be accessible to all is not a new one. Most museums and galleries have an access programme that enables people with disabilities to experience art works. However, the idea of selecting an entire exhibition with an emphasis on accessibility in a multi-dimensional way is relatively new in Ireland.

The exhibition aims to enhance people's engagement with the works through the tactility of relief models, by listening to the audio and artist's descriptions and by viewing the sign language interpretation by Amanda Coogan.

Altered Images works on many levels. The selected works all make reference to classical or art historical sources either in the method of depiction or their subject matter.

Each art work is accompanied by a multi-sensory display in order to provide meaningful access. In addition, an audio CD and Braille documentation of the large-print exhibition catalogue are available on request.

Padraig Naughton, Director, Arts and Disability Ireland commented in the accompanying catalogue: "What makes Altered Images an advance on what has gone before in an Irish context is the curation of a whole exhibition that has a multi-sensory approach to access thus having an inclusive appeal that will reach the widest audience possible.

While in my reflections I have concentrated predominantly on my access requirements as a visually impaired person, Altered Images intends to provide access solutions that are cross-impairment while simultaneously creating an exhibition of equal interest and accessibility to a non-disabled audience.

Consequently encouraging disabled people and their families and friends to come and explore the exhibition together. Furthermore it will for example allow people who are blind or deaf to explore the conceptual nature of visual and sound art along side non-disabled people."

Go to the Altered Images website for more details including availability of Sign language tours