Great art is a feast for the eyes but imagine if art could go one step further and actually save eyesight, too.
“Last Seen” is an extraordinary exhibition that partners nine top artists with nine visually-impaired Australians.
The aim is to capture their last, most-cherished visual memory on canvas to raise money for vital research with the Queensland Eye Institute.
The project brought Brisbane artist Adam Lester and nine-year-old Oscar Eckersley together.
By the time Oscar was five, he had already endured more than 15 operations to control congenital glaucoma.
Oscar’s “Last Seen” painting is of Main Beach on the Gold Coast, an image he remembers from when he was four years old. His ophthalmologist had just let him know he could finally go to the beach, something he hadn’t been able to do for two years due to the danger of the elements to his eyes.
“It was the best day of my life,” Oscar beamed. “It felt like I went to the beach for the first time after those two years.”
For artist, Adam Lester, it was a great chance to communicate with Oscar and bring his vision to life.
“That’s the challenge and that’s what I was sort of drawn to,” he said. “Oscar and I got along really well straight away and I think we understood each other.”
‘Last Seen’ will raise vital funds for the Queensland Eye Institute Foundation, but the hope is it’ll also raise awareness.
Dr Mark Radford, CEO of QEIF, said it was a way of allowing others to connect with how important eyesight is.
“It can happen to anyone,” Dr Radford said. “But we can do something about it — and about 80 per cent of blindness is preventable.”
15 Nov to 1 Dec
Cnr Grey and Melbourne Street