AMY IZAT

00:00 / 03:31

Whilst living in Sardinia, aged only 20, Amy suffered a brain haemorrhage that led to her being put into a coma for three days. It led to a right parietal/occipital Artero-Venous (AVM) - essentially a malformation of blood vessels in her brain. Her parents were told she had a 50/50 chance of surviving. After a slew of haemorrhages, operations and invasive surgery, Amy had a stroke, which led to even more devastating consequences. After waking up almost completely blind, she was rushed back to surgery to remove a clot. When Amy woke up from this, she was able to see again but had lost her central point of focus on top of the left side making it difficult to distinguish whole figures.

Amy hit a real low point. She was so angry with life, and for experiencing all this at an age when everyone else she knew seemed to be having fun. A visit from the local vicar reminded Amy about having trust and faith in life again. The next morning, she woke her mum up and got her to take her to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was the first time Amy was able to feel a sense of gratitude for still being able to see where the sun hit the water - even in a distorted way. Amy may not see a whole face anymore, including her own, nor see the whole outline of someone, or watch a film being able to see the whole screen, but the gratitude of what little she has left hasn’t stopped her in learning how to make sense of what she does see and put it on canvas.

Since this point, Amy has chosen to authentically live her life. This means continuing to draw by using a grid method to create a whole detailed image, often of animals, and then with the trusted help of another artist, rubs out the parts of the drawings she cannot see when she looks into the eyes of the subject on the page, creating a dialect between her visual impairment and the subject of her work.

In Amy’s words:
“I have spent the last few years drawing people’s animals, spending days creating an exact likeness of the subject by using grid techniques to try and create a well-proportioned figure. This exhibition is making me explore not what I see, but what I experience, in the fuzzy interactions between what I can and cannot see and what this means for my perspective on the world. Imagine a large drawing with a huge amount of blank space but still framed as though it was there. For this exhibition, I have drawn each subject as I would when doing a commission - with painstaking detail and precision. After finishing each drawing, I have passed an eraser onto a fellow artist whom I trust and have worked with since the age of 17, to erase the area of the subject that I no longer see when looking at it directly, into its eyes. The idea of having someone I trust, take away something that was once beautiful and perfect and whole symbolises the process of every time I went into the operating room, having a bit of vision taken away. However, it’s this empty space and blurred field of vision that has been erased that’s the important part of my journey. By letting people into how I experience the world now, I hope to feel a sense of internal peace at last, knowing that my experience is being recognised and understood, presented alongside other artists living with visual impairments. Recognising others are on a similar journey is making me feel less alone with my daily struggles. Through my work, I hope to turn a loss into a gain, something completely unique and individual that has been gifted to me by dint of never giving up”.

AMY IZAT

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Whilst living in Sardinia, aged only 20, Amy suffered a brain haemorrhage that led to her being put into a coma for three days. It led to a right parietal/occipital Artero-Venous (AVM) - essentially a malformation of blood vessels in her brain. Her parents were told she had a 50/50 chance of surviving. After a slew of haemorrhages, operations and invasive surgery, Amy had a stroke, which led to even more devastating consequences. After waking up almost completely blind, she was rushed back to surgery to remove a clot. When Amy woke up from this, she was able to see again but had lost her central point of focus on top of the left side making it difficult to distinguish whole figures.

Amy hit a real low point. She was so angry with life, and for experiencing all this at an age when everyone else she knew seemed to be having fun. A visit from the local vicar reminded Amy about having trust and faith in life again. The next morning, she woke her mum up and got her to take her to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was the first time Amy was able to feel a sense of gratitude for still being able to see where the sun hit the water - even in a distorted way. Amy may not see a whole face anymore, including her own, nor see the whole outline of someone, or watch a film being able to see the whole screen, but the gratitude of what little she has left hasn’t stopped her in learning how to make sense of what she does see and put it on canvas.

Since this point, Amy has chosen to authentically live her life. This means continuing to draw by using a grid method to create a whole detailed image, often of animals, and then with the trusted help of another artist, rubs out the parts of the drawings she cannot see when she looks into the eyes of the subject on the page, creating a dialect between her visual impairment and the subject of her work.

In Amy’s words:
“I have spent the last few years drawing people’s animals, spending days creating an exact likeness of the subject by using grid techniques to try and create a well-proportioned figure. This exhibition is making me explore not what I see, but what I experience, in the fuzzy interactions between what I can and cannot see and what this means for my perspective on the world. Imagine a large drawing with a huge amount of blank space but still framed as though it was there. For this exhibition, I have drawn each subject as I would when doing a commission - with painstaking detail and precision. After finishing each drawing, I have passed an eraser onto a fellow artist whom I trust and have worked with since the age of 17, to erase the area of the subject that I no longer see when looking at it directly, into its eyes. The idea of having someone I trust, take away something that was once beautiful and perfect and whole symbolises the process of every time I went into the operating room, having a bit of vision taken away. However, it’s this empty space and blurred field of vision that has been erased that’s the important part of my journey. By letting people into how I experience the world now, I hope to feel a sense of internal peace at last, knowing that my experience is being recognised and understood, presented alongside other artists living with visual impairments. Recognising others are on a similar journey is making me feel less alone with my daily struggles. Through my work, I hope to turn a loss into a gain, something completely unique and individual that has been gifted to me by dint of never giving up”.

EXHIBITIONS

EXHIBITIONS