How do visually impaired people enjoy art?

Blind and partially sighted people can still have rich experiences of art – and these may even be deeper than those of sighted people, says a gallery guide for the visually impaired.

Lisa Squirrel is visually impaired – but visual art is one of her great passions. As a student she fought resistance from teachers to study art history, and now leads tours at some of London’s leading galleries.

To experience works she cannot fully see, Lisa reads about them extensively. Close description by a sighted person and guided hand movements in front of the pieces allow her to understand their shapes and forms. Her in-depth knowledge of artists’ techniques and materials let her build a rich picture in her mind.

BBC Culture joined Lisa on a recent tour for visually impaired people of Tate Britain’s exhibition Turner: Painting Set Free to find out about her experience of art and her work to bring enjoyment of it to partially sighted people.

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