Sculpture exploring visual impairment revealed at Eye Hospital

A stunning sculpture exploring experiences of visually impaired people will be unveiled this week at Hull & East Yorkshire Eye Hospital as part of the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme.

The artwork, A Sight To Behold, has been created by artist Jemma Brown after working with visually impaired people across the region.

Through a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a series of workshops, the participants shared their memories, hobbies and information about their individual conditions. The group then developed these ideas using luxurious tactile papers supplied by G.F Smith in Hull and models were created before being cast using polyresin to create the final sculpture.

From 10 Oct, the sculpture will be on show to those visiting the eye hospital and visitors are encouraged to touch and feel it. Alongside the sculpture will be a collection point for old and unused spectacles, which will be donated to Jacob’s Well Appeal, who distribute them overseas as medical aid.

A Sight To Behold was organised by Hull & East Riding Institute for the Blind (Herib) but has been a collaborative effort, with many groups from the region taking part, including Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind, York Blind and Partially Sighted Society, Selby District Vision and South Lincolnshire Blind Society.

Sandra Ackroyd, chief executive at Herib said: “We were delighted to be selected as one of the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme projects. 

“It has been a really positive experience for all concerned, allowing visually impaired people across the region to develop new skills, share experiences, form new friendships and collectively develop a unique piece of art. I believe everyone involved feels a sense of pride, and it forms a lasting legacy of the City of Culture.”

Colin Vize, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We have enjoyed a strong and positive partnership with Herib for many years, so when we were asked to host the Sight To Behold sculpture, we were only too happy to help.

It’s great to know that the appreciation which visually impaired people have for the arts has not been overlooked in this City of Culture year. Many of our patients have been involved in research work to influence the design of the sculpture, which will now be displayed within Hull and East Yorkshire Eye Hospital for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy. The finished sculpture is both unique and striking, and is very tactile; a great way to bring pleasure and enjoyment through the arts to people with sight loss and visual impairment.”

Martin Green, director of Hull 2017, said: “Expression through arts and culture shouldn’t be limited because of disability. We wanted Hull 2017 to be inclusive and projects like A Sight To Behold have been proving that there are no barriers to being creative.