Film showcases Cork artist's inspirational story

Cork city-based artist Robert Fourie has retinitis pigmentosa, which has deteriorated his eyesight to the point of blindness.
Film showcases Cork artist's inspirational story

Robert Fourie will appear in a short film screening at Indie Cork- titled Robert Fourie: Artist- where he gives an insight into life as a blind artist. Photograph by Stephen Bean

A FORMER UCC lecturer is the subject of a new short film at Indie Cork. It showcases his work as a blind artist.

Cork city-based artist Robert Fourie has retinitis pigmentosa, which has deteriorated his eyesight to the point of blindness. Rather than give up his passion, he has now shifted his focus from painting to electronic art.

His talent and determination inspired cinematographer Stephen Bean, who is the filmmaker behind the production, Robert Fourie: Artist, which is premiering at the Indie Cork film festival in the Gate Cinema this October.

The project features Robert speaking about his new art piece, entitled ‘Look what you made me do’, and the difference assistive technology has made to his life.

Ironically, Robert says that while his eyesight has deteriorated, his “vision has improved”.

Speaking about his latest work, inspired by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Robert said: “It is one of those pieces of art that spontaneously arises from your mind that you only later realise has so much meaning. Sometimes, you don’t feel in control of the art, but you are compelled to get it on to the canvas. It’s based on the painting ‘The Scream’, which was created by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1893.”

Robert’s interpretation of the artwork is in the context of the military unrest in Ukraine.

The artist, who previously worked in the hearing sciences department in UCC, has developed his style as his sight has worsened.

“Before, I was doing painting with water colours, acrylics, and various media,” Robert said. “After losing my eyesight, I transferred to electronic art using assistive technology.”

The artist has inspired countless people in his life, including family members.

“My younger sister has the same condition, but her vision hasn’t deteriorated to the extent that mine has yet. She is still painting and loves knowing that I am still creating art, despite my loss of eyesight.”

Robert is looking forward to the Indie Cork film festival and to the film about him being shown.

“Stephen Bean has been a great mentor to me and is always really positive about my work,” Robert said.

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