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Health Issue: Blind Art Exhibition – Seeing is Believing?

Submitted by on December 17, 2012 – 8:16 pmNo Comment


Blind Art Exhibition.

Moorfields Eye Hospital shows the world’s only collection of art for the blind. The unique exhibition consists of more than 20 pieces that appeal to the tactile sense and makes a bold statement that sight is not essential for enjoying art.

The artists used different materials but also vivid colours to make the art works appeal to all senses. One painting shows woman in a black gown but upon touching it also reveals the velvet texture of the garment. Another painting appeals with vivid with colour to the sense of sight but touching it tells the story of how it was made. One can feel the strong brush-strokes that were used to apply the thick layers of paint and the drip-technique that was used in other parts of the painting.

Rick Feegrade, who organised the exhibition said that the artworks can’t be compared to conventional museum or gallery exhibits “There is an appreciation for some kinds of art because of the skill in scale and in detail that only somebody with a 100 per cent vision can paint and convey but this type of art can be enjoyed by people who are completely blind and people with sight alike.”

While other art works seems to serve more the purpose of being an investment for multi-millionaire collectors, the collection may help patients to recover from their illnesses. Research suggests that art in hospitals has a calming effect on patients and can even reduce the length of stay and the use of some medications. Patients at Moorfields Eye Hospital have said that the artworks have taken their minds off the appointments they were waiting for.

The collection was donated by the charity Blind Art and was on view at London’s art fairs and at the New York Public Library before finding a permanent home at Moorfields Eye Hospital. The founder of the charity Sheri Khayami has been visually impaired childhood and started collecting art by both sighted and visually impaired or blind artists to promote that a lack of sight does not have to mean exclusion from the domain of visual art.

The permanent exhibition is open to the public but the hospital encourages people to ring ahead and book an appointment, so a member of staff can introduce them to the art works.


To hear the full interview: Blind Art Interview

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