Exhibited at Aspex in Clarke’s hometown of Portsmouth, Journey By Dots offers a unique insight into Clarke’s life. Hand painted braille pieces follow his journey from visiting Aspex as a child, travelling to University to train in model making and returning to the gallery, after losing his sight, on the bus from Leigh Park as an adult. These stages are displayed as three sets of tactile braille sculptures. Each artwork shares a portion of Clarke’s memoir in colour coded braille, inviting the visitor to decode the braille if they want to know his story.
Some of the braille is painted black, meaning the colour decoder won’t help decipher the message. These redacted sections represent very personal moments in Clarke’s life. To understand the full message, you must feel the braille without relying on sight alone.
The collection also offers a peek at Clarke’s ambitions through a collection of tactile paving slabs painted with braille keywords; manifesting Clarke’s dreams of winning the Turner Prize and appearing on Strictly Come Dancing!
Clarke’s work is designed to be tactile and educational. At his exhibit you’ll be welcomed by neon signs reading “Please DO touch the artwork”. When we visited, there were droves of school children enjoying his work. Visitors were encourage to interact with the exhibition, from walking along the tactile paving slabs to attempting to decode Clarke’s life, his art is an immersive experience for all.
You can visit the exhibition at Aspex Portsmouth until 26 June 2022 and entry is free for all.