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art and exhibitions.

Byline: Lucy Bell

Sculpture show's magical touch. . .

Blind Alphabet C, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, until March 25.

THE first thing you see at this exhibition is dozens of black metal mesh boxes.

But don't be put off - that's part of the message. That's how blind or visually impaired people might feel when confronted by showcases in art galleries, where the treasures behind the glass have to be revealed by a sighted person.

So close your eyes, open the boxes and explore what's inside - there are some great surprises! If you're lucky enough to have one of the blind exhibition guides with you the message is even more clear - and more fun. And there is braille on the boxes for blind and partially sighted visitors.

Inside the boxes are beautiful sculptures by South African artist Willem Boshoff. Each sculpture represents a word that is no longer part of our everyday language.

These now obscure but precisely descriptive words have fallen into disuse, Boshoff believes, because we no longer need to describe objects clearly in our modern world of photos, TV, video and computers.

But exploring by touch is the major means of information for those who can't see and have no access to this visual media.

So take up this rare invitation at an art exhibition - feel free to touch.

Blind Alphabet C is a pleasure to feel - while making you think what it's like not to see.

Some of my favourites were cerebriform (brain shaped) catenate (linked, as in a chain), cancroid (crablike) capreolate (with tendrils) - and don't miss callipygian (having beautiful buttocks).

On until March 25.

Motoring ahead in the world of design

YOU can design your own car of the future at an exhibition which opened in Coventry this week.

Icons, cars and design from the 1930s to the future, is a new, permanent, exhibition at the Museum of British Road Transport in Coventry.

The computer programme to make and paint your own car is fun. But there's a lot more to the exhibition.

With the students from Coventry University, you can follow the making of a car, from the design to its testing and launch.

You can also see wonderful cars on show - from the old Alvis and Sunbeam to Daimler and Jaguar.


DIFFERENT FEEL: The boxed sculptures (above) and (inset) the sculpture called capitate (many headed)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 19, 2001
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