My practice has always revolved around concepts of identity, in particular, what defines identity and how it is perceived in relation with other aspects of society and culture. Within this context, I am often intrigued by how contradicting ideas can coexist and form alternative, hybridised and unique messages. I’m also interested in finding links between disparate subjects that initially seem to bear no relationship to each other. In making such connections, paradoxical and ambiguous meaning is offered to the viewer.
For my Master’s project, I decided to work on the connection between the subjects of “coming out” and blindness. I want to use these two topics to reflect and mirror one another, and in doing so, forge a metaphorical connection between them. The project also offers the opportunity to explore alternative ways of complex story-telling through the juxtaposition of touch with simple imagery.
Vada / In Blind Sight is a short graphic novel about the coming out of a congenitally blind boy named Liam Ponoe. The story depicts the emotional journey both Liam and his parents experience. The aim of this book is not only to introduce another perspective to the existing literature on the subject of coming out, which is often overlooked in the LGBT+ graphic novels, but also an attempt to communicate the story to audiences such as visually impaired readers. This story also questions acceptance and factors that influence this, such as belief systems, scientific theories, and emotional responses such as sympathy and empathy.