Seeing without Seeing
Clarke Reynolds visual art by a blind artist
Seeing without seeing is a tagline that describes my art. Not only can you see the art but you can touch it as well making it accessible to visually impaired people. Inspired by the sounds around us including the English language and how we communicate through words.
The seeingwithoutseeing.com site provides information about upcoming shows, exhibitions and images of past projects, as well as information about my artistic journey from dream to realisation
Art is my life and as a child there was no other career for me. It started when I saw the painting 'the yellow cow' by the artist Franz Marc it opened up my imagination of what art can be.
I was born with limited sight in my right eye but that never stopped me doing what I love which is being creative unfortunately due to kidney problems I had to leave school early however I fought back and studied art at a higher level gaining a BA honour's degree in model making.
I was a dental model maker I loved my job and creating art in my spare time then the worst thing that could happen for a visual person I start to lose my sight in my other eye. I had to give up my job and was left in limbo.
I still had my passion for art but found it hard to engage with the materials I previously used as I couldn't see what I was doing. Then I stumbled across textiles and realised that by touching them I felt connected with my artistic process. I took it one step further by sowing with wool allowing me to add layers to build up a picture like a painter does with paint and as a painter uses his eyes to what he can see as his inspiration I on the other hand use sound as my muse using different fabrics that have a connection with the sound you hear.
I found out that I wanted my art to be experienced by everyone no matter their visual impairment so my art is fully accessible through sound and touch.
My art has changed a lot as my sight decreases but one thing has always stayed the same the use of dots in my work as I've always been a fan of pointillism and I always say to people I see threw a thousand dots now the dots mean something as I've discovered Braille. I use this form of writing in my artwork trying to push the boundaries of what Braille was intended for using the English language and how we say words there descriptive power and using the dots as a vessel to bring that word to life threw Braille my hope is to highlight visual impairment through my artistic language.
My story as an artist has just began and I hope one day people will talk about me in the same vein as Picasso who changed people's perception of art that is my dream to be recognised as an artist that pushes boundaries
My Stunning Creations
Dive into My Portfolio
TOO SEE STARS
The very first art and light festival for Portsmouth called We Shine over the city many art installations lit up Portsmouth over three nights. My piece too see stars with the support of seekers create was a way of seeing the stars at night for a person who is visually impaired situated in the Eldon building part of the Uni in which I studied 20 years ago consisted of two tents in which you entered and looked up into the canopy were you saw the galaxy in touchable stars lit up in blue light but hidden in the stars was a message in braille. Also stars give off a sound so in the installation you can experience the sound of the stars as you look skyward.
The project was inspired by the phrase from someone with low vision "what do you miss most about loosing your sight?" the answer is I miss the stars at night!
Decoding Braille Decoding Me
My first Braille solo exhibition a culmination of 18 months research exploring Braille as a visual language.
Inspired by print as a Braille typographer I wanted to show the beauty in that tiny dot when its enlarged as Braille is not meant to be seen only touched. I created a colour coded system each letter pattern was given its only colour so that a sighted person could learn braille threw colour association just as the brain recognises patterns in daily life the idea was as you walk around and decode it with a key the person would start to remember the pattern hence learn Braille. What made it more special was that the dots were raised so that visually impaired people could read the art by touch so they were on par with a sighted person in this exhibition.
There was 26 canvases each canvas was in the colour of the letter so it became a self portrait in words.
This exhibition went on the road to The BASE gallery in Newbury in 2022 for a month a great adventure and participation.
VICTORIOUS Braille Trail
This project was about making a creative, inclusive experience at a music festival. With the help from Seekers Create and just good company we created a braille trail around the site of victorious along the sea front around the castle and through the children's area placed 10 plaques each in my colour coded braille with a single letter and each piece of art had a word that represented the place we put the braille letter so for V = vision was placed by the huge V for the sign of the festival. At the weekend we handed out maps and talked to hundreds of people about sight loss and why I created this touchable art trail in my unique braille suit. The highlight was meeting a young child called Etta who was blind and we talked about my stick , braille and the art that I create. It was the most exciting and important project to date. Too see more images follow my Insta feed.