Metaphor as Creativity in Audio Descriptive Tours for Art Museums

From Description to Practice




art museum, audio description, audio descriptive guided tour, metaphor, creativity, subjectivity


In a previous corpus-based descriptive study, we concluded that a linguistic metaphor is a frequently used technique in audio description (AD) for art museums and proposed a set of categories to describe this resource. These results led us to compose increasingly creative and subjective ADs for a series of audio descriptive guided tours of art exhibitions carried out within the Words to See accessibility project. In the present study, the same categories are applied to the analysis of the ADs created for these guided tours. In these ADs, metaphors are used to describe both representational and abstract art, while some categories of deliberate metaphor are more frequently used to describe abstract works. These results are discussed in relation to our and other authors’ studies in this field, as well as to theories of art education and gallery teaching.


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Author Biographies

María Olalla Luque Colmenero, University of Granada

Professor of Translation and English Studies at the University of Granada, Spain. Her research has focused on metaphorical language and audio description in museums. Her experience in Spanish museums, developing programs within the education and accessibility departments has also encouraged her to do research on the process and training of audio description. Her last works are based on studies with associations, non-formal education and collaboration between audio describers and users. She is a co-founder of Kaleidoscope and a guide of audio descriptive guided tours for museums in Spain. She is also a professional EN-ES translator, museum educator and audio describer.

Silvia Soler Gallego, Colorado State University

Professor of Translation at Colorado State University, United States of America. Her research has focused on audio description in museums and, more specifically, in art museums in Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Her descriptive research combines corpus-based analyses of existing audio descriptions with interviews and questionnaires to analyze the context in which they are created and used. She is currently interested in emancipatory and collaborative approaches to AD in art museums and research in this area. She is a co-founder of Kaleidoscope and a guide of audio descriptive guided tours for museums in Spain. She is also a professional EN-ES translator.






Special Issue: November 2020