- Text by Rudy O'Brien
In a world ruled by technology, engaging your sense of touch can feel undeniably satisfying – whether it’s running your fingers through sand or just bursting some bubble wrap.
But as people increasingly search for a tangible experience beyond the touchscreen, digital doesn’t have to be demonised.
Artist Lucy Hardcastle is all about reconnecting people by bridging the gap between both realms.
In the first episode of Heightened Senses – a collaborative series between Huck and Canvas showcasing daring young artists – Lucy shows us how to get the most out of being a “sensorial human”.
Specialising in tactile technology, she draws from various mediums – whether it’s digitally rendered objects or moving images – to push boundaries and express something new.
“A lot of people say about my work that it makes them want to lick the screen,” says Lucy. “People say, ‘I wish I could just reach out and grab it,’ so I really wanted to break that seal and burst that bubble of what we think of as an interface.”
Lucy has designed a conductive, hand-blown glass sculpture named Qualia which responds to touch with light and colour – triggering liquid ripples and a comforting glow as your hands move across it.
This kind of responsive glass surface has never been applied to a curved object or used in a creative setting – a breakthrough with great potential for educational tools.
It just goes to show that in an era of unimaginable connectivity, when it feels like every original idea has been exhausted, a new generation of switched-on artists are ready to redefine the spectrum of possibility.
Canvas is a channel funded by the Arts Council dedicated to inspire young people through the arts. Find out more here.