Bringing Queen Victoria to life
October 24, 2017

Gravesend Borough Market was chartered in 1268 and is one of the oldest markets in Kent. A statue of Queen Victoria stands proud in the market and has undergone a much-needed deep clean.

To celebrate the re-opening and restoration of the statue, Gravesham Borough Council has commissioned the Gravesend Art Group (a group of visually impaired artists) to create a tactile picture of Queen Victoria. Due to the statue being so high up on a plinth, members of the group could not touch the statue and therefore were unable to get a feel of what she looked like, and how she was dressed.

So, Wendy, the Club Leader rang Maria to see if one of Living Paintings books could help them to visualise this longest reigning monarch in UK history. It so happened that Living Paintings did have a description and raised image of Queen Victoria.

A tactile picture of Queen Victoria alongside a black and white photo of her

Maureen, Living Paintings T2C Book Club volunteer, sent them the book. The descriptions enabled members to really understand what a presence Queen Victoria had, they also heard about what kind of person she was and how she missed her beloved Albert when he passed away at the age of just 42 and how his unexpected death plunged Queen Victoria into grief so overwhelming that it endured for the rest of her life.

A black and white photo showing Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Wendy the Club Leader said:

“The Living Paintings raised image and audio description is incredibly useful. Before the start of the session, I felt it was important for the all the members to feel where Queen Victoria’s broach was and also feel her earing which is always prominent in all her portraits. Members would not have been able to do this without Living Paintings tactile raised image of Queen Victoria as the statue in the indoor market stood high on a plinth. Thank you again Living Paintings your descriptions have helped us again!”

A lady sketching the Queen Victoria figure

If you feel an art club would benefit from one of Living Paintings audio-tactile books then get in touch. Call the office on 01635 299771 and ask for Maria.


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