My First Touch and Feel

Rielle Oase ― Artist

Phoenix, AZ, USA

Installation Bronze

Routine Waiting Room Checkup (puzzle), from the project My First Touch and Feel, is an inquiry to the tactile learning process of a child with limited physical contact. Pulling from children's books which provide multi-sensory stimulation, this work explores how we teach social touch to kids. Comparing body language to braille, a touchable written language, the image, presented as a game, requires the viewer to touch the piece and assemble the final image. 

When a stranger's touch is taken into account, doctors are a rare exception for what is socially acceptable. However, remove the privacy of a doctors office, and that consent is altered. Much like the invasion of privacy that the subject of the image is experiencing, my making this piece into a interactive puzzle, the viewer ends up invading the space and touching the subject in order to realize the final image. 

When it comes to teaching young humans gruesome topics such as sexual assault, adults often try to censor the content - leaving a broken/incomplete image behind.