Resources

CVI Art - Artist Alfie Fox

Alfie Fox is a film maker and photographer, who uses art as a way of exploring perceptual difficulties his CVI presents him with. This work is about entrances, showing the cause of difficulties crossing thresholds, for example because it is not clear where a doorway starts and ends.

Of this piece Alfie Fox writes:

  • I have tried to give an impression of a doorway.
  • It is difficult to describe how I see.
  • I do not know where a doorway starts and ends.
  • I feel I am going to crash into the wall.
  • I shrug my shoulders and move sideways to get through.
  • I like someone to walk in front of me to see if they can do it without getting stuck or I use my cane to judge the width.
  • The pictures are over laid to give an impression of not knowing where the frame is.
  • I needed someone to describe the frames in my pictures to me, and I have had to explain how I see doorways so I can get the right image.
  • I do not see double.
  • I do not see 3D so if there are steps I can't tell they are steps unless I look at the side to see the zig zag.
  • I learnt steps were zig zag by moving my foot across and down and back.
  • I learnt that shape from my feet
University of EdinburghVideo Link: https://vimeo.com/651000572

Alfie's mother, the artist & campaigner Kerry Fox writes:
Alfie suffered from neonatal hypoglycaemia soon after his birth which resulted in cerebral palsy with significant damage to both his occipital lobes. He was only a few weeks old when we were told he was likely to have a degree of cerebral visual impairment.

Very early on it was like he could not see, but we watched him learn to see, navigate his environment and achieve many things we did not think were possible.

There are so many stories relating to Alfie's journey. Once he wouldn't cross a threshold where the floor changed colour as he thought he could drop into a big black hole.

He shrinks going through doorways thinking they are much more narrow than they are.

He avoids all escalators going down.

Alfie cannot see in a crowd, and I spent many years in the school playground with bright red hair so he could see his mum waiting for him. He still relies on a bright marker to distinguish those he is with, when outdoors.

Alfie reads but cannot read a book where all the pages are reams of text. He could not learn phonics so had to learn to read using whole words.

Alfie has to turn away from people to listen.

Alfie cannot use all his senses together, and sometimes this has been misinterpreted as Autistic Spectrum Condition.

Click here to see Alfie Fox's page with links to his incredible films, which have become an international learning resource.

See also...

BBC on-line news feature CVI Art including Alfie Fox's work.

BBC Interview about CVI Art including Alfie Fox's.

John Ravenscroft's introduction to Alfie Fox from the CVI Art ExhibitionUniversity of EdinburghVideo Link: https://vimeo.com/657523659

This CVIArts project was facilitated by Professor John Ravenscroft, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow (2021-22) University of Edinburgh.

Alfie Fox

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At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.