In 2014, Amanda was commissioned by Belmore ITCH to create a ceramic object using audio description. Audio description is the auditory narration of visual representations, commonly used as an access tool for people who are blind or have low vision.
Here the visual narrative is created by someone who is blind. Amanda has worked extensively with training sited gallery curators and educators in audio description. For this project, she employs her experience and sensibility to create an audio rendition of a ceramic object.
Tuesday’s Child Transcript
Gosh I’m not sure how to describe this object to you. Hmmm, let’s see. This object is about fifteen centremetres high and also about fifteen centremetres from front to back and from side to side. If you could pick it up and hold it in your arms it’d feel like a sleeping puppy. Like a curled up sleeping puppy. And because it’s a ceramic object, it’d be a very heavy, curled up sleeping puppy. But it has that kind of a general roundish outline with lots of inconsistencies. Actually, the other thing it’s kind of like is a pumpkin. Except that, where most pumpkins have the hollow leading to the stalk on the top, this object has it on the side. So if you can imagine that someone has somehow squashed down part of the side of a pumpkin so that the hollow on the top has fallen over on to the side and become like the side of a pyramid with a hollow in it; but the rest of the pumpkin has stayed as is.
The hollow has the gentle slope that usually leads to the stalk. But it’s not there. What’s there is an empty space. The empty space is maybe about two or three millimetres in diameter, but we don’t know how deep into the object it goes. Radiating out from the empty space is a type
of a spokey pattern. But it’s not the type that goes flat indent, flat raised spoke, flat indent, flat raised spoke, flat indent, flat raised spoke; it’s more of a slanted step pattern. So a spoke slopes up 45 degrees for about two centremetres until it gets to a point, and then slopes down 45 degrees for about one centremetre until it meets the next spoke. And that pattern continues right around the hollow. So it has no start and no end. Of course, it’s most distinguishable at the outside of the hollow, and gets less distinguishable the further into the centre you go. This part of the object is glazed so it’s smooth. But it has that rough kind of a smoothness that some bathroom tiles have. Not to the point of feeling like that rough nonslip kind of material, but it’s not slick either.
The spokey pattern stops at the edge of the hollow, which then rolls over to the rest of the pumpkin puppy. And the rest of the object is essentially round. It has a flat surface in the sense that it doesn’t have any hollows or lumps. It’s just flat.
And especially because it’s unglased, it has a kind of an earthy feel that makes you want to bond with it. And if you could pick this object up and hold it in your arms, at this point you’d be asking its owner to put it on a blanket in the morning sun to it could get warm.
The sides taper down to a flat circular base, which is also unglazed. And this is where you can most tell that the object was handmade, because there are a few random dents and chips about the place.
If you put this object down on a table, you would marvel at the time and energy that went into creating it. Because you would imagine it’s the type of thing that would be quite unstable. But it’s not. But if you push it, it would stay completely still.