Art accessible to blind people in 3D

Unseen Art project’s was created to provide the possibility for blind and visually impaired people all over the world to experience art. The project consists of developing paintings in 3D and an open source platform.  Users just need to have access to 3 D printing.

Unseen Art
Unseen Art – 2D paintings to feel with hands

Re-create famous paintings in 3D

What if a blind person could recognize Mona Lisa’s smile with the touch of his hands? What if he could feel the texture of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers?  This is the reason why a group of artists from all over the world is getting together in a project called Unseen Art. They want to re-create classical paintings in a way these can be touched and felt. Whether in exhibitions or in people’s home, the blind and visually impaired will be able to experience art.

This project comprehends a digital platform and 3D printer. The first comprises a database of 3D models of paintings, available in open source. The second is the way by which the art is materialized. It works anywhere in the world with digital access.

The project was enabled by a group of professionals from different industries, enthusiastic about digital adventures, called Adventure Club Helsinki Oy. And also by a group of artists willing to develop the works of art for a 3D purpose.

3D prints
Unseen Art 3D prints of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

Unseen Art project goes beyond the act of providing global access to artworks that everyone heard about but was unable to see. Marc Dillon, involved in the project, talks about allowing the “personal experience of inspiration, education and provoking-feelings that meaningful art creates”.

Eija-Liis a Markkula, the Cultural Director of Blind Federation, in Finland, believes this is a revolution. Getting blind people interested in visiting art galleries was, until now, almost impossible. She says, “Blind people hated them because there is nothing there to touch”.

Unseen Art
Unseen Art . Close-up

Financing worldwide inspiration from art

To finance the digital platform where 3D art is to be shared and become freely available to anyone, Marc Dillion has just launched a crowdfunding campaign at Used to develop successful campaigns, Dillion believes in the global impact of Unseen Art project. It’s about creating a community that will benefit people all over the world.

The campaign offers each backer a 3D printed Mona Lisa, which they can offer to loved ones, children or charity. The campaign also comprises a competition to host the first Unseen Art exhibition in backer’s local cities. This will be the first place to confirm that Unseen Art is alive, and brings to blind people’s fingers the sensations that are usually meant to the eyes.