"I have worked hard over these past three years. Barriers have been put up because I'm blind. I'm told it's a hobby not a career and now Quantus Gallery has embraced my art, passion, ethos and my unique suit. Watch out world the blind braille artist is coming."
Clarke was born in 1981 with limited sight in his right eye which he eventually lost completely (he was later diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable eye condition). Growing up in Portsmouth, his childhood was tainted by domestic violence and the effects of alcohol abuse; Clarke’s toys would often be sold by his stepfather to buy alcohol. The one item that couldn’t be sold was Clarke’s sketchbook; Clarke would often seek refuge in drawing to escape the horrors of his childhood.
As an adult, Clarke worked as a dental model maker. Sadly, he was forced to give this job up after he started losing his sight in his left eye too. It was then when he was inspired to become a full-time artist after stumbling upon textiles and realising, he could use the tactility of fabrics (as well as sound) as his muses.Today, when Clarke isn’t creating art in his Portsmouth studio, he is teaching Braille in schools and has a class named after him at London’s Kings Cross Academy. He is passionate about promoting the benefits of braille, currently used by 30,000 people in the UK.
The Power of Touch Exhibition
The Power of Touch’ is the first London solo exhibition from acclaimed 41-year-old Portsmouth artist Clarke Reynolds, celebrated for using Braille in his artworks. Opening on the 11th of January, visitors to The Power of Touch will wear special glasses where they can sample Clarke’s distinctive braille art in much the same way a blind/partially sighted person would.