Clarke Reynolds, Lockdown Works

Lockdown down for me at the start made me angry as this was the year I was going to make an impact outside of Portsmouth the last two years have been amazing being nominated for best visual artist of the year by the Portsmouth guide awards having my first solo exhibition last year I was on the verge of something big as I had another exhibition all about Braille talks workshops planned even a walk round the Houses of Parliament to discuss the use of Braille. But unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be and as I’m locked out of my studio and homeschooling my little one I still had to be creative as this situation for a blind person is hard especially going out how am I supposed to know what two metres looks like plus as a visually impaired person I’m always touching things to navigate the world . So I’ve been very busy creating textile and 3D works inspired by lockdown using the English language as my guide and how words make us feel so the pieces I present too you are how I’m feeling and I hope after all this is over there will be a venue where my art can be hung and touched as obviously it would be good to touch.

  1. Writing lines ( I must remember too look )

Inspired by forgetting your home work or p e kit in school we had to write lines in detention so being detained in lockdown I wrote I must remember too look in Braille and the same phrase in reverse as an ironic phrase for a visually impaired person who can’t see.

I’ve used black buttons on yellow fabric as it’s the colour contrast visually impaired person gets in documents

90 x 50cm

  1. HOPE n LOVE

Inspired by the icon of a rainbow that is being shown across UK in windows as a sign of hope I’ve spelt out HOPE and LOVE in Braille and in each dot there is a stylistic rainbow all hand stitched in coloured wool plus as you go up it’s the colours of the rainbow

100cm square

3 STAY SAFE

Using the slogan during lock down I spelt out stay safe in Braille and each dot has an invisible shadow which represents the shadow of the situation and inside the dot is various horizontal and vertical lines to represent lock down hand stitched in blue a somber colour.

100cm square

  1. Social Distancing ( what a…. feels like )

On a chopping board using wooden domes spelt out what a handshake kiss cuddle feels like as you can’t do these things during the pandemic and as it’s Braille you can feel.

35cm  x 25cm

5 Odd dots Odd words Odd times

My largest piece during lockdown its 13 words began with odd letters in alphabet and contains seven letters plus as it’s Braille each word contains odd dots and each word is about how I feel during these odd times so it starts with Awkward and ends in Yelling 319 Jean fabric dots sewn on denim fabric

80 x 200 cm

Clarke Reynolds Visually impaired artist

I’m registered severely sighted but I’m a visual artist which is an oxymoron in it self I’ve done art all my life and I’m not going to stop now that I’m going blind. I did struggle at the start of losing my vision in my art practice regarding the direction as I lost the detail which was hard considering the art work I was producing was very detailed combined with my day job as a dental model maker which relied on good eyesight. But this didn’t stop me as art has helped me deal with my sight loss. For me I stumbled across textiles by accident the last time I picked up a needle was in my primary school days I went in that direction because as a visually impaired person I found it hard to engage in art if you can’t touch it and as a blind artist  I wanted my art to be experienced by the visually impaired community and textiles seemed a great choice as you can feel and what I discovered was amazing as my muse became sounds and for me me what you hear and what you touch there was a link so I used that in different fabrics alongside sounds. Then I started to sew using wool this allowed me to feel almost like an artist uses a pencil to draw I use the wool as my pencil and the fabric as my paint pallet. The last 8 months my work has focused on one thing the English language as for me losing your sight the English language is very important as it describes the world around me so I used this and learnt Braille from an art piece I created were I turned Braille alphabet into buttons it became my Rosetta Stone . My work is all about taking the English language and using the Braille dot to host the descriptive power the words give us. I’ve always explained that I see threw a thousand dots and my art has always contained dots  and now those dots mean something deeper to me. So to a person who sees my work it looks very graphic with these dots displayed in a pattern to a visually impaired person who can read Braille they can experience art in a new way. My aim is to bring Braille into the 21st century.

Insta clarke_reynolds_1981

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