Audio describing a painting to a person who is blind requires a special skill. It takes more than talking about shape, colour and content. It also requires an interpretation of the message the artist wishes to convey. But what if the painting has tactile outlines, borders and Braille scripts? Braille and tactile paintings became the mission of Chintamani Hasabnis.
Chintamani Hasabnis creates paintings accessible to people who are blind. This was after watching a young woman crossing the street with a white cane. He thought, “I paint so many pictures but I can’t show any of them to her.”
An article on the News Hook website tells how Hasabnis worked towards creating his paintings. He said it took a while before he realised he had to make something people could touch. A visit to a school for blind children gave him the answer – paintings with Braille and tactile elements. Pune International Airport in India was one of the first places to display one of his paintings.
Hasabnis has completed 30 paintings, mostly portraits, and of course, sighted people can also share the tactile joy of these paintings.
The video below, with captions, shows some of the paintings and how the Braille is incorporated into the picture.
This is not the first example of Braille painting. The Guy Cobb painting below is on the Wikimedia site is from 2010.