The portrait as a means of creative expression is most often regarded in the context of visual art, while visual art is, of course, related to the ability to use sight as a key tool of perception. What happens if this sense is damaged or completely lost? Is it impossible to portray the world (and oneself) creatively? The workshop took place at the Strazdumuiža village for the visually impaired, on the outskirts of Riga. During the workshop, the participants created photographic self-portraits, as well as clay sculptures, helped by sculptor Valtis Barkāns. While making the busts, the participants touched the clay, then their own features, and then the clay again. The results of the workshop highlight the significance of the other senses – shown by the resemblance of the clay self-portraits to their authors, their proportionality and, in a sense, symmetry.
Iveta Vaivode (1979) is a photographer and photography educator. She currently lives and works in Riga and Helsinki, where she is studying in the Aalto University Master’s programme. www.ivetavaivode.com