SIGHT loss has inspired Portsmouth artist Clarke Reynolds to create work which can be appreciated even if it cannot be seen.
Clarke, from North End, is registered severely sight impaired due to living with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition affecting the retina at the back of the eye.
Rather than regarding this as a barrier to creating the art he is so passionate about, 38-year-old Clarke has started creating work with an emphasis on texture, to be enjoyed by anyone.
Making Space in Havant runs free networking sessions for makers and the next event – a Maker Networking Lunch on August 20, from 12.30pm until 2.30pm – will feature Clarke as a special guest to coincide with the craft organisation’s open studios.
Ami Hyde, outreach and programme co-ordinator, said: ‘Clarke is an inspiration. At Making Space, we want to raise the profile of craft and send the message out that it really is for everyone. Clarke is a perfect illustration of that and we’re delighted to welcome him on August 20.’
Clarke’s drive and talent have led to many successes. He is an Aspex Gallery Association member, a member of Outside In - a disability arts organisation based in Chichester - and gained a degree in model making.
On the back of two artist residencies and a talk at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Clarke was nominated for Best Visual Artist of the Year in the 2018 Guide Awards.
This year he ran a community arts project called Eye Sea Squares 20-20 for Portsmouth Festivities to highlight visual impairment through sound and texture.
In September, the newly opened Yellow Edge Gallery in Gosport is hosting Clarke’s first solo exhibition, featuring fully tactile work.
At the Maker Networking Lunch, Clarke will be talking about his work so far this year and plans for the future.
The Maker Networking Lunch coincides with Hampshire Open Studios. Making Space will be open, along with its professional artists in their studios, on August 17, 19 and 20 from 11am until 4pm.
For more information, visit makingspace.org or call the Box Office on 023 9247 2491.