Haptic Art Experiences Described as Vocals, Sounds and Written Words by Deafblind

Riitta Lahtinen, Camilla Groth, Russ Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


It is generally understood that the human senses are interconnected and always
work in relation to each other. How does this work when one or two senses are lost due to a dual sensory impairment? Deafblind persons' perception and experiences of arts are based on their residual auditive and visual senses, and touch. Their haptic exploration, their touch, movements and orientation towards the objects give blind persons direct, independent experience. Few studies explore the aesthetic experiences and appreciation of artefacts of dual-sensory people, and how they would interpret and express their perceived experience through another sensory modality. This pilot research describes and analyses six different deafblind people sharing their interpretation of five statues in vocals, sounds and written descriptions based on their haptic experiences. The informants found new and multimodal ways of expressing their experiences. We conclude that it is possible to transfer felt experiences from one modality to another and that this facilitates a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art work in dual impaired persons. This research expands the idea of auditive descriptions made from haptic aesthetic experiences, and suggest these as artistic supports to traditional linguistic descriptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-172
Number of pages23
JournalSynnyt/Origins - Finnish studies in art education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Haptic experience
  • deafblindness
  • sculpture
  • aesthetic experience
  • vocalisation
  • sound

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