Photographer Karl Childs discusses his photography project
About The Blind Project Living with sight loss.
￼￼”It’s impressions about blindness that are far more threatening to blind people than the blindness itself” Daniel Kish
Karl Child is a Lancashire based artist currently working with NVision Blackpool, FACT Liverpool and Blind Veterans UK members, to create a photographic project that shares inspiring and life changing stories of sight loss. The project explores life without sight and its relationship to communities and the townscape, aims to teach local communities about varying types of sight loss and provide information to remove attached fears or discrimination involved with being ‘blind’. The project is supported by Arts Council England and Berlin based IMPOSSIBLE Project.
“My mother was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of ten and after a lifetime of insulin injections and medication to control her blood sugar levels, her health began to deteriorate and at forty six years old, towards the end of a stay in hospital that lasted three hundred and sixty two days she woke up one morning to complete darkness. “Who’s turned the lights off?” I recall her explaining her conversation with the nurses to me. After establishing that the nurses weren’t playing a practical joke on her, that the lights were in fact on in her room and the sun was shining through her window, the reality began to sink in that she could no longer see. She was blind.
I have decided to produce a documentary series to tell the stories of others in the local community who are living with sight loss and hopefully in the process, provide knowledge that will remove any attached stigma and lack of understanding towards what it is like to be blind whilst simultaneously raising awareness of the facilities and equipment that is available and the help and support on offer not just for people with visual impairments, but also for the close families and friends who are also affected.
The way in which people are living with sight loss is changing. Technology and visual aids are making everyday life more manageable and perceptions of sight loss are being modernised. Local governments are acknowledging sight loss and considering it when designing and regenerating the urban landscape allowing visually impaired people the opportunity to navigate through streets more comfortably.
My project looks to embrace these positive changes. By sharing very normal, everyday stories of people living very normal lives with little to no sight, I hope the audience is able to learn that being visually impaired doesn’t restrict you from doing the things you love, you just have to do them in a different way.”
(Karl Child 2016)