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Reading Pictures: Seeing Stories is brought to you by ASCEL (The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians) Yorkshire and the Humber who have worked together through Arts Council funding to bring you this festival of visual literacy.
Working with key partners, including visual and creative digital artists and book illustrators, Reading Pictures: Seeing Stories will give children and young people the opportunity to meet and learn from illustrators & artists to explore the connection between literacy and the visual arts and offer children and families not usually engaged with the arts the chance to discover the power of pictures. And for all of us to get arty and have creative fun.
‘Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak. But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo that fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.’ (John Berger, Ways of Seeing)
Visual literacy is the ability to see, understand and interpret images, much as literacy is the ability to read and derive meaning from texts. Visual literacy is an important skill for understanding visual media that can lead to enhanced performance of other intellectual tasks and builds the ability to interpret and evaluate information and messages. From an early age, children draw from their everyday observation of the world around them in order to learn. In today’s visually saturated environment, they must develop the skills to decode, think critically and communicate about the images around them. The ability to ‘read’ images can help young people to navigate and make sense of their world.