Bojana replaced our vision with touch and trust
Touch & Trust
From a different, and enlightening learning experience with Bojana Coklyat, a teacher at St. Joseph's School for the Blind, and her immersive art exhibit she did at Art House Productions. Bojana designed this interactive exhibit to offer sighted people an immersive glimpse into the what its like for her students to bring their ideas and fantasies to life through art:
Being visually impaired herself has given Bojana unique insight and understanding into the world of her students. By putting her "heart first and eyes second," she's given them the ability to expand their expressions beyond sight as she taps into creating art through multi-sensory materials and experiences.
"Sighted people have very little interference into what artwork they make. They can trust their eyes to help them pick all the right materials and to materialize what they are visualizing. My students who are visually impaired rely on me and the teachers/aids to supply them with what will fit their ideas." – Bojana Coklyat
"I've learned to tap into the idea of creating art through sensory experiences and exploration of different materials. Instead of drawing themselves, I have them sculpt themselves out of clay. With some students I discuss the differing textures;the contrast of soft and hard. Sometimes, the art room is more like a playground of textures for the students to discover. These interactions are all possible with the trust that the students give to me and the other teachers and aids." – Bojana Coklyat
There is an intangible dialogue, an implicit back-and-forth exchange of trust happening any time we share information, sighted or not, whether that relationship is between teacher and student, learner and guide, or parent and child. While it may be impossible for the non-impaired to fully understand what our daily life and artistic dreams might be without sight, temporarily replacing our own vision with touch– and importantly, trust– gives us new insight into this sometimes overlooked part of learning experience itself. To many, the most important part of learning is not the facts and figures, it's the relationship of sharing between people. Bojana's exercise not only let's us experience the world around us in a new way using different senses, but also helps us to see learning itself as a holistic process that requires respect and responsibility for the on-going collaboration between learners and teachers.
Learn more about Bojana's work:
- ‘Feeling’ on Several Levels: Show Featuring St. Joseph’s School for the Blind Students Opens at Art House (via Jersey City Independent)
- Concordia Learning Center at St. Joseph's School for the Blind
It's a highly recommended experience – contact Bojana directly on Facebook if you are interested in this workshop for your organization or school!