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Multisensory Moments return

Explore and experience works from the AGO Collection with multisensory translations co-created and presented by OCAD U graduate students.

Silhouette Interpretation of: Christi Belcourt. The Wisdom of the Universe

Demilade Olaleye, Harkirat Kaur, Maryem Abbas and Rosa Chu. Silhouette Interpretation of: Christi Belcourt. The Wisdom of the Universe, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, Unframed: 171 × 282 cm. Purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2014. 2014/6.

Multisensory Moments are back! Once again, in response to an OCADU Inclusive Design Multisensory Museum Course, led by Melissa Smith, AGO Assistant Curator, Access and Learning (and she’s an OCADU instructor), graduate students have been asked to consider how artists, designers, galleries and museums can create inclusive art experiences for audiences with diverse accessibility needs. Students have since translated select works from the AGO Collection into multisensory objects using a variety of methods including visual and audio description, animation and 3D printable files. Presented virtually for the second year in a row, audiences from Toronto to British Columbia and even Lagos have been tuning in to watch these video presentations as they premiere on the AGO Facebook page. Students were even able to co-create with Community Consultants to inform their translations and gain important insights. 

 This week on AGOinsider, we bring together three out of five of this year’s Multisensory Moments. Experience the work of Christi Belcourt, Kazuo Nakamura and Kara Walker in new − and perhaps unexpected −ways in these videos:  

Demilade Olaleye, Harkirat Kaur, Maryem Abbas and Rosa Chu presented an inclusive, multisensory translation of Wisdom of the Universe (2014), a much-loved work by Métis artist Christi Belcourt. The group chose to translate Belcourt’s work by inviting audiences to experience it through touch, auditory sounds and animated visuals, including two-dimensional silhouettes (image at top). The group was even able to connect with Belcourt in the preparation of their video. 

 Avery Creed, Kevin Ilango, Nidhi Paul and Sandra Law presented their translation of Kara Walker’s Resurrection Story with Patrons (2017). Visit the interactive webpage the group created here, which includes the stories and sounds of enslaved Africans brought to America during the Antebellum period along with an audio-visual translation of Walker’s work. 

For their video, Jessica Hwu and Winter Yen interpret Blue Reflections (1962) by Japanese-Canadian painter Kazuo Nakamura. Titled “The Forest Box”, their translation involves visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile elements. 

 Tune in for two more Multisensory Moments on Facebook Live happening Monday, April 25 with La Montaña Rusa's Los Carpinteros and Monday, May 30 with Claes Oldenburg’s Ice Cream Soda with Cookie.

The AGO offers a variety of programs and events in support of different accessibility needs; keep up to date with them with the Access to Art page.

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