Remarkable work of artist who can barely see to paint

Anthony Spencer continues to produce work despite being affected by macular disease and will now feature in Peripheral Visions taking place at the Menier Gallery from 4 ' 7 September
Anthony Spencer continues to produce work despite being affected by macular disease and will now feature in Peripheral Visions taking place at the Menier Gallery from 4 ' 7 September
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THIS stunning painting of a river rushing through a wooded valley is striking to the eye.

And remarkably, it was produced by an artist who is almost blind.

Anthony Spencer continues to produce work despite being affected by macular disease and will now feature in Peripheral Visions taking place at the Menier Gallery from 4 ' 7 September

Anthony Spencer continues to produce work despite being affected by macular disease and will now feature in Peripheral Visions taking place at the Menier Gallery from 4 ' 7 September

Anthony Spencer’s piece, Waters Meet, has been chosen to be included in an art exhibition in a top London gallery to mark the Macular Disease Society’s 25th anniversary.

Peripheral Vision will be held at the Menier Gallery from September 4 to 7 and Anthony’s work is one of a number by artists who suffer from macular disease.

The 78-year-old great-grandfather’s central vision is so bad he has to use a magnifying glass to paint the detail.

But the colours and form are still bold and bright and the froth on the water brings the river to life.

Mr Spencer, of Longmead Gardens, Langstone, said: ‘I’ve been an amateur artist for 25 years. It’s important to me that my work gives pleasure to other people.

‘I was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration in both eyes in 2009. Because of my sight loss I can no longer paint full detail. I overcome this by using a magnifying glass in front of my paintings to get details right. I paint from photographs but also on location.’

His wife Nita said: ‘I’m very proud of him. There is a lot he can’t do now because of his sight but he does what he can. He can’t seem to stop painting.’

In addition to being included in the exhibition, a picture by Mr Spencer will feature in a 2013 calendar being produced by the society.

Age-related macular degeneration affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK. There are many other forms of macular disease, including juvenile macular dystrophies.

The exhibition was open to artists with macular disease or to those whose work furthers understanding of central vision loss. Peripheral vision is not affected by macular disease and so many artists continue to work even after developing the condition.

Helen Jackman, chief executive of the society, said: ‘We are very impressed by Mr Spencer’s work and I’m delighted to include examples at our 25th anniversary exhibition.

‘We hope that Peripheral Visions will help to raise awareness of macular disease and further people’s understanding of the condition, as well as celebrating the considerable talent of artists affected by central vision loss.’

For more information on the exhibition or macular disease 0300 30 30 111 or email help@maculardisease.org.