Allegories of the Senses

Allegories of the Senses is an exciting new exhibition to the Gallery focusing on the senses.


We have worked collaboratively with the Arts Council as part of the Arts Council Collection Select Scheme.  The works have been chosen along with pieces from our outstanding collection which replicate or stimulate the five senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.


As part of the exhibition you will 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, on loan from the 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.


We are really excited to 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® brickthe 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 they need to do interesting and fun tasks related to the theme of senses. All you need to do is ask at reception to collect you pack!


For visitors of the exhibition, please see the following link to our audio guide which you can use whilst you wander the gallery:


Image Credit  - Caroline Achaintre, Todo Custo,2015, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London ©Caroline Achaintre