Mada exhibition features eye-gaze paintings

February 11, 2013 - 4:49:46 am

Visitors looking at a work displayed at the exhibition.

DOHA: Mada (Qatar Assistive Technology Centre) yesterday launched an art exhibition with the theme ‘Art, Disability, and Technology’ at the Katara Art Centre. The exhibition features works by Sarah Ezekiel, a British artist who uses a technology that enables her to control painting software with just the movement of her eyes. By using a Tobii Eyegaze solution, Sarah can overcome her physical disability to pursue her artistic career.

Through the use of assistive technology, Sarah can merely use the movement of her eyes to paint elaborate creations, and has seen her work exhibited at several exhibits throughout the UK. This is her first exhibit outside the UK.

“By featuring the works of an artist with a disability who uses assistive technology to paint, Mada highlights the remarkable ability of assistive technology to empower someone with Sarah’s challenges to pursue their dreams,” said David Banes, CEO of Mada.

Although Sarah was unable to attend the opening in Doha, she spoke to the crowd through a video call to explain the importance of assistive technology in her life and to encourage its use throughout Qatar.

“Having a centre like Mada available to the disabled community in Qatar enables a company such as ours, which is committed to using eye-gaze technology to support the needs of people with different needs, the opportunity to have a greater impact on the lives of a greater number of people,” said Hector Minto, co- founder of EyeGazeArtists, who has worked closely with Sarah to establish the EyeGazeArtists charity.

The proceeds from the sale of Sarah’s works, which will be at display in building No. 5 in Katara until Thursday, will go to the charity set up to fund the provision of similar devices for people with disabilities who need it wherever they may be.

“Not only are we interested in different communities engaging with our gallery space, but also we want to explore themes of technology and art, particularly as they relate to enabling people to break physical barriers to create art,” said Mayssa Fattouh, Artistic Director and Curator at Katara Art Center.

The Peninsula