Claire Lawrence, who is registered blind, is exhibiting her new work at the Lexus Leicester showroom on 7 May and is urging other budding artists with sight loss to keep following their dreams.
Claire, who is 31 and lives in Syston, was diagnosed with the degenerative eye condition Autosomal Retinitis Pigmentosa when she was 8yrs old.
Claire explains her work:
“Despite my increasingly deteriorating vision I chose to go ahead with an Art degree at University, as this was my passion and I wanted to do it while I still had some remaining vision. My work then and now tends to focus on the tactile; I like to push materials to their limits: freezing, burning, deconstructing and rebuilding.
“I enjoy the spectacle in art and want the viewer to experience and enjoy my work on different levels.
“Following completion of my degree in 2007 my eyesight took a sharp decline. I had given up on creating art work.
“However, in 2013, with my eyesight as stable as it had been for three years, and my frustration at my lack of creativity peaking, a moment of inspiration, the gift of a blow torch and a desire to express myself kick-started and revived my creative passions.”
In November 2015 Claire was contacted by an executive from the Lexus UK team who had seen her work and wanted to use her unique talents to create a series of artwork using leather.
Before any leather is considered good enough for use in a Lexus, it is burned, ripped, scuffed and scored in a battery of gruelling tests to find just how well it will maintain its quality through years of wear and tear. Claire captured the spirit of these tests in her creation of a series of new artworks, using the same leather for her canvas. In a further interpretation of Lexus’s principles of “creating amazing,” she has been inspired by the multi-sensory qualities of the leather. Her creative process involves burning holes in the leather, which are then laced with stitching before being coated with a clear varnish, adding extra dimensions of visual interest and tactility.
Richard Rhodes, Lexus Leicester Head of Business, said: “Claire’s work is very special and adds an intriguing new dimension to Lexus’s concept of quality and craftsmanship. We are delighted to be able to support the work of a very talented local artist and hope that our customers and other visitors will enjoy seeing the exhibition.”
Watch the Lexus film and see Claire’s work on her website: www.sightlessvisionart.co.uk
Claire is a Regional Campaigns Officer for RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) and feels strongly about breaking down barriers for visually impaired people.