Ms. Murphy, a photographer who has been working with nude images for years, says the artwork breaks new ground. While editions of Playboy magazine have been produced in Braille, Ms. Murphy believes her work is the first that allows blind people to explore naked images through their sense of touch.
“There are a couple of racy phrases in there, but not too much,” she said.
The images are first developed as traditional photographs; Ms. Murphy convinces her friends to pose as models. She then enlarges the images and builds them up with clay. She melts individual plastic pages on top, one at a time, with a Thermoform machine. The pages conforms to the image’s shape.
Each book takes a few hours to assemble and bind. Each is approximately 15 centimetres (six inches) thick. Ms. Murphy began producing her work in full colour last fall.
“It’s a very expensive book. It’s certainly functional, but it’s also an art object,” said Cory Silverberg, a co-owner of Come As You Are, a sex shop in Toronto that has been carrying Tactile Minds for a year.
“When you run your fingers over it, you really feel texture, you feel what’s rough and smooth, you feel the ridges of someone’s well-chiselled chest, for example.”
Ms. Murphy learned how to make tactile graphics while volunteering for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, for whom she produced educational diagrams of animals. She later decided to apply the skills to her own art projects.
This is an interesting concept, I know a couple of blind artists and I think it’s wonderful that something is being created with the blind in mind, more art should be accessible in different ways.
I am disappointed however by the way this article seems to portray the book as porn for the blind. something handcrafted that has taken that long to produce is an art object. there are a selection of nude styles, some are more explicit than others but it is sad that the article feels it needs to dwell on that aspect. it’s also sad that the book seems to be taken up mostly by sex stores, although the artist may not agree with me there- if they sell there who am I to judge?
I’d love to get my hands (heh) on a copy and see how it’s done. it sounds like an experience of nude art, something that doesnt always happen with paintings.