Invisible Touch

,
  • Free
  • Festival
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Relaxed
A colourful digital drawing of Jess Thom, a white woman with short curly hair in her blue wheelchair wearing pink fingerless gloves and a black jumper with stars on. She is speaking into a standing microphone to an audience in Wellcome Collection’s Reading Room. Next to her is a BSL interpreter who is communicating in sign language to the audience. People in the audience are smiling and listening to the talk, some are wearing masks. Some people are standing, others are seated on chairs and large cushions. Behind them on the gallery wall are colourful framed illustrations of colourful waving hands, and a pink spherical object.
Invisible Touch, 2022. © Jess Thom for Wellcome Collection.

What you’ll do

Invisible Touch is an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between touch and care. You can join a conversation and explore images, audio, and touch diaries that share disabled and neurodivergent people’s experiences of receiving and giving care. You can participate online or in person. Invisible Touch will centre the knowledge of those of us who draw on care and reveal the many roles touch plays in our lives.

The activity sheet and online version of the Invisible Touch Tour will be available here one week before the event.

Jess Thom of Touretteshero hosts Invisible Touch, which is the final event in the Feeling Our Way series.

As a disabled person who requires constant support, I get touched a lot. I’m lifted, washed, squeezed, pushed, soothed, and sometimes restrained. Physical support plays a central role in my life, but this type of touch is often invisible, either because it’s routine and gets overlooked, or because it’s so unfamiliar that it doesn’t get considered at all.

Jess Thom

Keeping you safe

We have made plans to keep you safe during your visit. Here are some specific things we are doing for this event:

  • We will check how many people are in each space and ensure that it doesn't feel too busy.
  • A printed visual story will be available from the information desk on the ground floor to support you to access the events and activities.
  • Our Visitor Experience team will be available if you have any questions. They will be happy to walk you through to different parts of the building if it is helpful.

Dates

,

Events

  • Installation
Invisible Touch Trail

Reading Room

Explore touch diaries, audio and images created by Jess Thom and five disabled and neurodivergent collaborators. Their experiences of giving and receiving care draw attention to the complexities and possibilities of care in new ways.
Just turn up
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair friendly

  • Workshop
Drawn to Touch

Reading Room

Explore your experiences of touch and care using the Drawn to Touch activity sheet. Draw an experience of touch that is significant to you based on the Touch Diaries.
Just turn up
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair friendly

  • Walking tour
Invisible Touch Trail Audio-described Tour

Reading Room

Take an audio described tour of the images and diaries in the Invisible Touch Trail with Nelly Ekstrom.

Tickets via Eventbrite

  • Audio described
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Relaxed

  • Discussion
Talking Touch

Reading Room

Join a discussion with Jess Thom and panellists about the complex and often invisible role that touch plays in their lives and work. This talk will unapologetically centre disabled and neurodivergent perspectives. You can ask questions and contribute, or just follow the conversation.
Just turn up
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • British Sign Language
  • Speech-to-text
  • Live scribed

  • Chill out
Chill-Out Room

Viewing Room

Any time during the day that you want to find a space away from the programme of activities, you can come to the Chill-Out Room to lie down or relax. There will be low lighting, comfortable seating, cushions and mats throughout the room. Make use of ear defenders, earplugs, board games and sensory toys.
Just turn up
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Relaxed

Need to know

Location

This is a large-scale event with several different activities. Check specific sub-events for their locations.

Drop in

Just turn up to this event. It's likely to have room for everyone. If you have any access questions, requests or requirements, you can email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 020 7611 2222.

Wheelchair friendly

This event is wheelchair friendly, which means that it has been actively designed for participation by people who use wheelchairs.

Relaxed

This is a relaxed event, which means that if you need to, you are welcome to move around and make noise at any time.

Our event terms and conditions

About your host

Jess Thom

(she/her)

Artist, activist and part-time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourette’s syndrome. She has written in the mainstream and disability press, including the Guardian, the Observer and Disability Now, and has been a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow.