Hi, everyone! My name’s Elm, and I blog over at Just Call me Elm or Something. I’m collaborating with the lovely Maya, which honestly makes my day!
Before anything, I want to tell you what I can see – or rather, what I can’t see. Far be it for me to define myself by this, but I’m blind. I can see nothing out of my right eye, and only light, contrasts and a few shapes out of my left. I couldn’t see faces, beautiful landscapes or anything of the sort. I despise getting pity for it; I’ve always been blind and have never seen anything different from what I do now, and so I view it as normal. To set the scene, I needed to tell you, so that you understand.
Because of my lack of vision, it may be surprising to you that art is actually quite important to me. There are beautiful paintings, filled with life and sweeping brushstrokes; there are natural landscapes, intricately carved with the path of water and faces of rock that hold swirling patterns. Captured in ink, paint or photography, it is ever present and unchanging, an image that could be interpreted in a thousand different ways.
That is art to you. Doesn’t it appear beautiful? To me, it is; I’m always fascinated by what people can do to make a picture come alive, to their eyes, to make it appear striking, stunning or just real.
What many people don’t see is that art isn’t just visual. A blast of trumpets, an angelic voice singing or buskers on the street is what I consider to be my paint, my canvas, my pencil. It may seem stereotypical, that a blind person talks about music as if it’s the only thing that they appreciate, but I still have ears.
If you pick up a book with glorious writing, you think, “I wish I could be there, though the author has done an amazing job of helping me visualise it.” The same could be said for me: I’ve never seen a stream tumbling over the rocks, but I can almost imagine the sound, the way it would feel. Now I think on it, THAT is another form of art. To take the written word and to transform it into something else, for even only a few people, helps people to know what something out of their understanding would be like.
They tell me, “Isn’t it a shame that you can’t see the amazing art work she’s done?” I say yes, and then no. I’ll never experience it, but I can be told how beautiful it is. I can be transported into the world of colours and sight, only for a second: a bystander, but still there.
Everything is a form of art, when you look deep enough. To a deaf person, a drawing may be appreciated so much more: who knows? I have never been told, not by someone who could show me the world of what it’s like to not hear sound that I take for granted. That’s why I’m telling you my version, so that you can at least see one perspective.
What I want to show you is that every single person’s version of art is different. Perhaps you suspected that I would talk about music, or writing, but if you think that’s the stereotypical blind notion of what art is, you’d be wrong. I’m different, you’re different and the closest person to you is different.
Even if you don’t get a single thing out of this post, I want you to remember that some people don’t have the things you have. Be that vision, hearing, an arm or a house. This isn’t just about art; it’s about realising that even when someone has a disability, or has something “lacking”, they still continue on with their life. It’s not the end. I may get upset sometimes that I can’t see the stars, or pictures on somebody’s blog, but it doesn’t stop me from finding creativity in other places.
What do you think art is?
I’d like to thank Maya for having me on her blog. She’s a truly wonderful person, and for her to ask me to collaborate put a smile on my face. I really hoped you enjoyed reading, because whilst I was writing, it helped me to think about my own perceptions and judgements.
From Elm 🙂