Invitation to Challenge a Perspective
Did you know that Vincent van Gogh had low vision? I recently learned this about van Gogh at the Experience Van Gogh exhibit and as a legally blind artist myself, I was so tickled to learn this.
A Little Bit About My Vision
I have a condition called optic atrophy, which is a deterioration of the optic nerve. My eyes work fine, but the link between my eyes and brain doesn't always work. I may look at a light pole, but my brain may fill in the details and think I'm seeing a tree.
So Why Does This Matter?
In terms of whether or not my work speaks to you, my disability doesn't matter. But if you are reading this, I momentarily have your attention, so please let me explain. It has been my experience that people generally have very low expectations of people with disabilities. One day, I walked into a grocery store and grabbed a shopping cart, while holding my white cane that I use when in unfamiliar places. The woman stopped me and remarked about how smoothly I moved. Let me assure you, dancing Swan Lake was never going to be in my future. The woman was surprised by my ability to move a shopping cart. If only she knew what I was capable of...I share my disability with you kind reader, as an invitation to make the world a more beautiful place. Take a moment to consider the expectations you might hold for people with disabilities. In your most truthful heart of hearts, does it surprise you that an artist would have a visual disability? If so, that tells you that you too might have low expectations for people with disabilities. Invite in a new way of thinking.
Creativity is a choice. A choice for everyone. Curious and want to learn more? Check out Rebekah Taussig's amazing book, Sitting Pretty.