My name is Aishwarya and I lost my vision later in life after being diagnosed with brain tumor in 2008. My hobby was painting at that time. I gave it up as I thought I wouldn’t be able to pursue it without vision. But little did I know I was wrong!
I was introduced to rehabilitation services in the later years and got a job as a rehabilitation counselor in 2013. As a result, I became more independent and now achieve things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to as a blind person.
My journey as a blind painter
I went recently to a painting gallery and, to my disappointment, I could not experience any of the art, as all of the paintings displayed were two-dimensional.
That is when the idea of tactile painting came to my mind. I personally believe that art is a form of expression and it should be experienced by everyone – including blind people.
So I started working on tactile paintings – and I have four so far. I am also in the process of organizing a workshop and an exhibition for blind people at my workplace so that the visually impaired people in my community can not only learn how to create art, but also touch and experience it.
My aim through this is to bring them and the sighted community together to bridge the gap between the two so that everyone can enjoy art. I am also looking to connect to other blind artists so that we can exchange ideas and share our experiences.
As mentioned, I have done four tactile paintings so far. Following is a photo and brief description of each.
This painting has four big yellow flowers on a blue background. Blue represents gloom whereas yellow represents happiness in this painting. The flowers are made of dry leaves and golden beads. The message it conveys is that, despite the sadness in one’s life, there will always come a moment of happiness that will surely blossom!
An Evening in Paris:
This is a painting of a candle burning on a stand that is placed on a table. It also has a broken beaded chain, two roses and a painting of Eiffel tower hanging on the wall. I used ice cream sticks, beads and silver foil for the candle stand, a mixture of glue, water and tissue paper for the candle, and colored paper for the roses and the painting frame of the Eiffel tower.
This is a painting of a beach with a sunset sky, the sea and the sand with two coconut trees. I used a reddish orange color for the sky and blue for the beach. The sand is real and was glued to the canvas. As for the coconut trees, I used silver foil to make the trunks. I later layered them with sheets of blank paper and colored them brown. For the leaves, I used thick paper, cut it in the right shape and colored them green. I also glued coconuts that were made of silver foil and tissue paper and glued them to the trees. Finally, I cut paper like a shape of a flying bird, colored it black and glued it on the sky.
This painting shows fenced dry yellow-brown grass, dark grey sky, a lightning bolt, a hut and a windmill. The grass is made of paper that was colored and cut into thin, conical shapes. The fencing is made of ice cream sticks and silver foil. The hut is made of paper and silver foil. The windmill is made of a bead, paper coffee cup and straws. The lightning bolt is made of silver foil. The message that this painting conveys is that, although one has gone through bad times, good times are yet to come. The dry grass represents bad times whereas the lightning bolt reminds one that showers are soon to come, so one can expect great things to happen!
You can learn more about Aishwarya and her artwork on her Facebook page, Tactile Artwork for Persons with Vision Loss as well as her YouTube channel. Aishwarya is also very interested in connecting with other blind artists. If you’d like to get in touch, you can send her an email.