Blind and Deaf artist draws on lockdown for inspiration
Local blind and deaf artist, Robert Allcock aged 54 from Mapperley draws inspiration from his lockdown fears and his hopes for a happier future to create two very different paintings.
Rob says his art has helped him get through the turbulent times of the last year as he uses paint to brush away his fears and anxieties and paint a picture of a much brighter future when lockdown restrictions ease, life becomes more normal and the vaccine delivers real hope for better days to come.
Rob’s first painting shows real anger, frustration and fear. It vividly depicts the devil and the grim reaper feeding on the coronavirus to spread fear and death. His second painting depicts a rainbow bright future as the vaccine delivers real hope that the coronavirus will eventually be defeated.
Rob, who lives alone, turned to art to help vent his anxiety and help him cope with lockdown. “When we first went into lockdown in March last year it was fine at first, like many people I took the opportunity to slow down and get on top of all those things that you just never usually get round to, my house has never been so clean and tidy!”
As the pandemic dragged on Rob become increasingly isolated behind his own front door as he tried to stay connected with the world outside because he struggles to see or hear his TV, participate in Zoom calls or get out of the house to participate in activities and meet up with friends. Face coverings have also made communications more difficult as Rob can no longer lip read and the new visual signs in shops and public transport are impossible for him to see.
“The longer it dragged on the more depressed and isolated I became,” explains Rob. “So I turned to painting to express myself and keep myself busy. I’m proud of what I’ve created, it isn’t easy for someone who is Deaf and blind to paint, but I think I’ve captured many people’s mood in these paintings.”
“I haven’t been called for the vaccine yet but I will definitely have it as soon as I can. I believe it’s the best way to end lockdown and get life back to something like normal. I believe better times are just around the corner and I can’t wait to get back to art and choir at My Sight Notts and to meet up with all my friends again. Art his kept me sane during the isolation of lockdown and it will continue to paint to express my hope in better times to come.”
Jeannie Roberts, Art Development Coordinator at My Sight Notts, said: “Rob is a talented artist who has successfully channelled his feelings through his art to create some brilliant pieces. At My Sight Notts we use creative arts to give a voice to blind people and to people like Rob who have multiple disabilities. We believe creativity is accessible to everyone regardless of disability and Rob has proved through these paintings just what can be achieved,”