Madeleine’s mission to promote blind artists

“Just because you are blind, it does not mean the end of creative endeavours”

Madeleine with her work.
Madeleine with her work.

LEGALLY blind artist Madeleine Popper is on a mission to raise awareness for people with visual disabilities through her upcoming exhibition at Gasworks.

The exhibition will be held throughout July and will feature Madeleine’s colourful finger paintings as well as works by other legally blind artists. Madeleine is currently in the process of getting fellow blind creatives to contribute, with one artist, Claire Hogan, already on board.

Passionate about sharing her visual art and giving a platform to other blind artists who wish to do the same, Madeleine said, “Just because you are blind, it does not mean the end of creative endeavours,” adding, “For this exhibition artists will show their works in conjunction with an explanation of how their particular eye disease affects their imagination, perception and creative application.

“In my case, I have macular degeneration with no central vision. This means I cannot read, drive, see people’s faces, cross roads or see any details. I paint with my fingers.”

Her art is colourful and bright despite not always being able to differentiate between shades, and she calls her mishaps “happy mistakes”, celebrating her unique artistry.

Madeline is the daughter of Holocaust survivors and moved to Australia from Paris when she was a teenager. She didn’t have a traditional Jewish upbringing but found a wonderful community of Jewish friends when she arrived down under.

Madeleine started losing her sight 20 years ago and it wasn’t until then that she really got into painting.

She told The AJN about her journey, saying, “In spite of what happens whatever it is, you can find a different way of managing. So, in my case, I took up painting, when the doctor told me that I would not be able to drive, read, see people’s faces within a certain period of time, that was 20 years ago, and I’d like to show that I can manage to do anything. Painting is my thing, I use very bright colours and I’ve sold a few pieces, so I’m very happy about that, and they are happy paintings, because painting and colour makes me feel happy.”

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