“A partnership initiative of Mayo County Council Arts Office, South Tipperary Arts Service and IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) Altered Images  is an exhibition of art works from the collections of all three organizations. Accessible, interactive and inclusive in ethos, the exhibition aims to stimulate engagement with the visual arts for the general public and particularly for disabled people.”

Here, some seven artists present (each with the aid of an audio description) an original work (not the kind you’re likely to see on sale in the commercial galleries) and side by side is the altered image, a relief model, all the work of Loz Simpson of Topografik. In some cases, I found the relief model more interesting than the original.

That was the case with the 2004 “snail” paintings of Alice Maher. After feeding live snails a diet of vegetable dyes, Maher used the drawing made by the coloured snail trails and added her own dream-like imaginings to the nebulous swirls and marks made by the snails. “The prints express Maher’s fascination with the minutiae and largesse of the natural world”. 

The large work by Caroline McCarthy (above) is sure to grab your attention. “The Luncheon is a large scale photograph of a still-life made from wet toilet paper, resulting in a pastiche of 17th-century traditional still-life painting, replete with fruit, vegetables and vanitas-style flies”.

The exhibition, which is a few years old and has been seen around the country, has the aim of stimulating engagement. Why not take up the invitation and see for yourself. The Crawford  is a convenient city centre location. Drop in if you have 20 minutes to spare.

Altered Images is at Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland until 29 April 2011