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Clarke Reynolds, The Blind Braille Artist, exhibits at The Base

There’s an exhibition of Braille art by blind artist, Clarke Reynolds, at The Base, Greenham until January 30th, writes Paul Walter.

This week, the Mayor of Newbury, Councillor Billy Drummond, opened the exhibition, which is called “Decoding Braille, Decoding Me”.

The Base specially commissioned this display, seen before only once. It is described as turning “the tactile form of braille into a visual art form”. The Base website invites you to “Discover braille as a visual language through (Clarke Reynolds’) vibrant use of colour and shape while learning more about the creative process and vision behind his bold, unique and inspiring work.”

Clarke Reynolds has taken a great deal of trouble over the shape, colour and general presentation of his art. The result, on one level, is a very attractive display. On another level, braille readers can feel the dots and read the messages in the framed artworks. And on a third level, sighted people can use the “decoder” provided to try to read the words.

I attended the launch, and it was fascinating and fun to try to work out what the words were.

It all gives a small insight into the world of braille users.

I interviewed Clarke Reynolds for Kennet Radio’s Saturday Chatterday show. He is very chirpy and talkative. He has a fascinating history. He started, when he could still see through one eye, as a model maker, even making dental models at one point. But ten years ago he was told that his sight was fading in his remaining eye so he had to completely change his career as an artist. The result is extremely engaging and attractive. Clarke is very upbeat about his art career. He will soon be off to America to make a film which will include creating artworks to be filmed by a helicopter!

You can see “Decoding Braille, Decoding Me” at The Base, Greenham until January 30th. More details are on their website here.