You might be forgiven for thinking that drawing at all, let alone drawing from life, was near impossible for someone with sight loss. But 93 per cent of people registered as blind or partially sighted people can see something and can still get a lot of enjoyment out of the arts, given the right tools and environment.
When Sarah Newman began to lose her sight, she assumed that her interests in art would be taken away. One of her interests is drawing from life, and she recently discovered that this was something that she was still able to do. Originally speaking to BBC In Touch radio, she shares her experience as an art student and how it felt to lose her sight, leading to her coming up with the idea for the class.
“The first time that I really had problems with my eyesight was actually very suddenly and that was in my late 30s. When that happened I just stopped drawing, because I thought that this was something that I couldn’t do again.
“When I went back to life drawing I discovered, whilst I was living in London at the time, that there was a life drawing class across the road from me. I went along and the tutor was fantastic, he was very proactive, he was very encouraging.”
Sarah acknowledges that for those with extremely low or no sight, the classic form of drawing would be difficult, however people might be surprised by how much you can get out of art and life drawing even with very little sight.
The first class at the Wallace Collection is planned for Saturday June 3rd, with more planned throughout the summer if there is interest. Anyone is welcome, including those with no art experience. You would need to be able to travel into central London, but the classes are free and materials are provided. This is made possible by the Wolfson Foundation.
There needs to be at least 12 people interested in attending the class for it to run, so if you’re interested please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sarah via email.
You may also like these stories about other things blind and partially sighted people have achieved: