Experiencing Visual Art Having Never Experienced Vision

Simon Hayhoe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper seeks to address three questions that arose in my early research:
1. Given the guiding principle that visual art should mainly be understood by sight, how do people learn about and engage with art when sight is diminished or not there?
2. Given the experience of blindness and visual impairment, what are the effects of vision loss or no vision on a cultural identity in art?
3. How can education support learners who are blind and visually impaired in art education?
In this presentation I explore an in-depth case study of Esref Armagan, who is thought to be the first visual artist who has never been able to see. Following this presentation, attendees will hopefully grasp the concept of inclusive capital and have an understanding of what it is to produce and understand the world as a person who has never seen, and the distinction between Esref and people who have visual impairment or late total blindness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022
EventBeyond the Visual - Wellcome Collection, London, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Oct 202222 Oct 2022


ConferenceBeyond the Visual
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


  • Blind
  • blindness
  • visual impairment
  • art
  • painting
  • colour
  • touch


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