Allegories of the Senses

Allegories of the Senses is a Select Exhibition

The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley have worked collaboratively with the Arts Council Collection to create this exhibition focusing on the senses. The works have been chosen along with pieces from the gallery's own collection which replicate or stimulate the five senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.

As part of the exhibition, see rarely seen works by local artists, Malcolm Whittaker and John Kenneth Long which sit alongside masterpieces by Vanessa Bell, Martin Parr, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Marc Quinn. A magnificent three-metre-high textile piece by Caroline Achaintre (Arts Council Collection) creates a breath-taking showstopper.

Accessibility and inclusion has been a really important focus for the exhibition and the display has been carefully co curated by Action for Autism and Asperger’s Barnsley (AfAAB). Through a series of workshops the group studied and debated potential artworks before making their final selection. Their invaluable feedback has given a unique perspective on how the exhibition has been shaped and displayed.

The gallery have had the support from LEGO® who have kindly supplied a brand new concept - LEGO® Braille Bricks for use in the interpretation to help aid visitors with a visual impairment. Each brick in the LEGO® Braille Bricks toolkit retains its iconic form, but unlike a regular LEGO® bricks the studs are arranged to correspond to numbers and letters in the Braille alphabet. Each brick shows the printed version of the symbol or letter, allowing sighted and blind children to play and learn together.

Touch and feel are a huge part of the exhibition and to allow you to enjoy a COVID-19 sensory experience, creative and inspiring activity packs are available to take home.  They will include everything needed to do interesting and fun tasks related to the theme of senses. (Ask at reception to collect a pack.)

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.