I am a totally blind person.
I had sight as a child and young man. I am unashamedly a “blind artist” rather than an “artist who is blind”. At a superficial level I enjoy the irony of a blind person producing visual art. But at a deeper level I draw heavily on visual memory and I concentrate more on the non-visual aspects of “seeing”- namely associative memory, perception and understanding. Themes in my art include: presence and absence, collaboration, synaesthesia and conceptualisation. In general there is still far too much emphasis on the negative aspects of sight loss. Yes of course one loses colour experience and huge dollops of spatial awareness but what one gains is new perspectives on the world with a rich fund of unique and exciting experiences should one choose to examine them. The really exciting part is then to turn them into something else that others can experience. I am concerned with what blind people have in common with everyone else not what divides them. I am concerned with figuring the “what it is likeness” of a sensory deprivation. I am concerned to exploit the well documented idea that sighted peoples vision can be altered, improved or changed by their encounters with the blind. I am concerned to examine the fascinating and barely surface scratched world of the shapes, forms, images and ideas that inhabit the world of my unique experience. Blindness not only affects ones mobility and literacy but also ones perceptions of form, shape, texture, and colour. A given object can have a very different effect on two sighted people; the same object will have a more dramatically different impact on a blind person. I explore those differences. These differences include not only the sensory differences but the psychological, conceptual and philosophical repositionings which sight loss brings to the fore. My work seeks to speak as much and sometimes more to the visually aware as it does to the visually impaired.