Like many things in life, eyesight is one of those things we take for granted. Can you imagine how much you would value what you had seen if you lost your sight? Particularly your last, dearly held visual memory before your sight started deteriorating.
That is what the QEI Foundation is going to capture.
Last Seen, an exhibition will take you through the emotive stories of QEI patients, ambassadors and supporters. We are partnering them with influential Australian artists to create a series of artworks which depict their "last seen" or the
memory they hold dear.
The exhibition will aim to raise awareness of taking our sight for granted and all proceeds will go to the QEI Foundation to support our sight saving work and enable us to continue our vital medical research to prevent blindness.
Our first Last Seen focuses on Yuma Antoine Decaux. It was New Year’s Eve, 2008 and Yuma was travelling in Cambodia. He was on a beach waiting to welcome the New Year, but a firework launched horizontally into his face. This left Yuma without sight in both his eyes.
Yuma has been partnered with Brisbane-based artist Kate McKay to visualise his last, dearly held memory.
One of the world’s leading communications networks, Publicis Worldwide, has partnered with QEIF to bring Last Seen to life. “We’re really excited to partner with the QEI Foundation on this project – reminding people of the critical importance of eyesight” – says Ryan Petie, Executive Creative Director of Publicis Queensland. “Particularly working in the advertising and design field, where eyesight is our biggest tool, we’re deeply entrenched in this project and making it a famous success.”
We asked Yuma and Kate about the project and why they decided to get involved in Last Seen. “If I can participate in helping spread awareness, education and give inspiration, I’m there in a split second. And just like anyone who had full sight before, I secretly hope to push for research into a bionic eye, since I am still young,” said Yuma.
Yuma, who is co-founder of OSeyeris, a Brisbane-based start-up that creates technology that is useful to the sighted but also accessible to the blind and visually impaired, hopes Last Seen will give him the opportunity to represent the blind community in an artistic context, and perhaps continue to form creative collaborations.
Artist, Kate McKay added, “I chose to be involved in this project as I found the concept behind the campaign really interesting and I wanted to help share Yuma’s story. Yuma’s memory is a powerful reminder of the preciousness and frailty of sight, and being a part of the project has made me more appreciative of the gift I have.”
The date and venue of the Last Seen exhibition will be confirmed shortly.