These paintings have been included in several "tactile" exhibitions, where the participants are encouraged to use sequential touch in exploring the artworks. Dedicated to writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, the windows are inspired by one of his stories. During a residency at the VA Center for the Creative Arts in Sweetbriar, VA, I experimented with ways to mix the visual and the tactile. The neurologist's experience with various patients included one man who was virtually blind at an early age; later he had his vision restored as an adult. The story raised questions about how someone with limited vision might experience visual clues.
According to Sacks, "The rest of us, born sighted, can scarcely imagine such confusion . . . .we make our world through incessant experience, categorization, memory, reconnection . . . . But what [the man] saw had no coherence." (To See and Not See," The New Yorker May 10, 1993.) It was difficult to understand a simultaneous view when one was accustomed to a sequential view of the world.
All images copyright Pamela Crockett