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    Painting a picture of brain-related vision problems

    British artist helps raise awareness of cerebral visual impairment


    Cerebral visual impairment

    The idea behind Mr Jerram’s artist’s residency is to create something that will raise awareness about the nature of the type of visual impairment that occurs due to brain injury, cerebral visual impairment (CVI), including the lived experience of affected children and their families. The idea is also to increase understanding on the difference that treatments or environmental modifications can make to CVI.

    “I’ve been exploring visual impairment with art since my first days at college,” the artist said.

    “I created a sculpture using retinal art images and a photo flash gun to see imagery inside your own head. I built up multicoloured imagery with strobe lights so the viewer could mentally project a floating chair in front of them. It was created from the absence of light, playing with the viewer’s vision but also becoming quite intrusive.”

    Mr Jerram will work with Cathy Williams, reader in paediatric ophthalmology at the BVI, and other clinical researchers, including experts in genetics, in brain structure and function, and in magnetic resonance imaging. Their work aims to help children affected by CVI.

    The Bristol Eye Hospital, the BVI’s clinical partner, have run a dedicated clinic for children with CVI for many years and has recently started to design new ways of treating some aspects of CVI and of designing services to identify and help them (thecviproject.co.uk).

    Mr Jerram’s latest artworks have worked their magic on Ms Williams already. She said: “Seeing Luke’s previous work, and recognising my own and other people’s fascination with the art he has created, has taught me the power of getting people to think differently about something, and how that leads to new leaps of imagination and understanding. I loved the beauty of his intricate glass virus models and the fact that they are deliberately transparent because the real viruses are smaller than the wavelength of light; a great fusion of science, aesthetics and technical skill.”

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