Merging art with science
As well as being an ophthalmologist and scientist with a special interest in genetic eye disease, Dr Moosajee is Chair of Moorfields Art Committee. Explaining her motivation behind the exhibition, she recounted to Ophthalmology Times Europe how her love of art stemmed from childhood.
“Since then, I have always tried to stay involved in art,” she said, before describing that the “clinical, stark white walls” of Moorfields Eye Hospital troubled her when she started working there. She felt that a more creative environment would aid in patients’ mental well being, and thus potentially speed up their recovery whilst in hospital.
“I teamed up with the charity ‘Blind Art’. They donated this collection, the two-dimensional part of which is currently on display in the Outpatients Department of Moorfields, while some of the three-dimensional pieces came here to the Science Museum”.
A key message Dr Moosajee wished to disseminate via the exhibition is that when a person loses his or her sight, the visual cortex continues to be stimulated by the other senses. Even those who are born blind make use of the visual cortex in processing sound and touch, with these senses being heightened compared with non-blind people.
The exhibition was expected to be visited by thousands of people and Dr Moosajee was joined by scientists, researchers, artists and patients over the three days. The exhibition had the support of The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.