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Gallery show for photographer who confronted losing his sight

Ian Treherne: 'Despite losing my eyesight slowly, I still want to show society the beauty I see and the conundrum I live with'

09 February, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Ian Treherne says he is no longer a recluse

IAN Treherne chose to hide away after he began to lose his sight but has found a way of opening up to the world about his disability through photography.

A “showcase” of his work is going on display at Fiumano Projects gallery in Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross. Despite suffering degenerative blindness (retinitis pigmentosa) – which has left him with a form of tunnel vision – and having limited hearing, Mr Treherne is capturing the “beauty and distortion of the world” through his camera lens.

The 37-year-old said: “After being a recluse for two years, hiding away with my shame and embarrassment, I decided that admitting and vocalising the burden that I have carried for 20 years needed to be confronted and dealt with in order to continue living life as any human being has the right to live. Having hidden away my disadvantage for many years and struggled as a human being to participate in this world, has shown me that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to change people’s perception of disability.”

Some of Ian Treherne’s photos

Born in Essex, and now living in Southend-on-Sea, he said he had never felt that he “fitted in” as a person but his creative pursuits had allowed him “to combine my artistic practice and my disability”.

Of his artistic process, Mr Treherne said: “When working in portrait photography my natural inquisitiveness directs the shoot. I spend at least an hour conversing with my subject, getting to know the person, their likes and dislikes, their passions in life, finding out what they want to reveal about themselves. “he aim is to shoot a person, not just a face or a body. The things we cannot see are the things that make us unique.”

He said he loves the films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, and the lighting and atmosphere of vintage films played a large part in his portraiture. Mr Treherne has been fascinated by cameras and the process of making film since he was a child.

He said: “The exhibition will be, and is a celebration of, opening up, vocalising and showcasing my visions through photography. Despite losing my eyesight slowly, I still want to show society the beauty I see and the conundrum I live with. You will be able to see what I see when I take portraits. There will also be a short film presenting the limitations I face on a daily basis. I want to show and give the wider public a better and different view of partially blind/deaf people, [and] raise awareness of Usher Syndrome – these are people who suffer different loss of sight and hearing at any age.”

The exhibition is at the Fiumano Projects gallery, Unit 12 (first floor), 21 Wren Street, until March 10.

 

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