Blind Turkish artist sees the world through pottery
A blind man from Turkey’s Black Sea region has forged a link to the visible world through pottery.
Olcay Aşçı, 22, is exhibiting his works for the first time since he began using ceramics as a way of expressing his relationship with the outside world.
Aşçı, who became blind when he was a baby and is also partially deaf, has modeled clay since he was a child in Akkuş, a town in the mountainous province of Ordu.
“My world is based on my perception of objects. I get to know things by touching them and I touch everything I can: products, fruits, boxes, signs, especially when I am in a queue in a shop,” he told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Although fashioning sculptures has provided an outlet for his imagination from an early age, it was not until he met Funda Altın, a fine arts associate professor at Ordu University, that he began to explore his talent.
A grant from his local municipality enabled him to attend Altın’s ceramics workshops in the city, and within a year he had built up the collection that went on display on Nov. 5.
“I had to revise my teaching methods in order to work with Olcay. Despite difficulties we have managed to succeed thanks to his efforts,” Altın said, praising Olcay’s passion and dedication to the craft that allowed him to develop his talents so quickly.
The opening of the exhibition at the city’s art center welcomed many guests, including local blind people who were invited to handle the pieces.
Altın said the collaboration “demonstrated how little people care about understanding each another in today’s world.”