Blind artist hopes to turn your head with Hitchin Windmill Hill exhibition

PUBLISHED: 08:32 26 July 2019

Artist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Mary Sprinks

Artist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Mary Sprinks

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An interactive art installation is due to appear on Hitchin's Windmill Hill this weekend.

Artist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Jennifer Osborne, Outside InArtist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Jennifer Osborne, Outside In

The installation, which is the third of its kind on the hill by blind artist David Johnson, will go on show on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Hitchin Festival.

This latest piece, called 'concerto for fish and chip shop and windmill hill in three movements' is all about the mysteries of perspective and 'points of view'.

Artist David expressed his excitement for the upcoming exhibition, and said: "I like to turn people's heads and get them wondering what it's all about.

"People quite often ask about it, which gives me the opportunity to explain, or, if I'm not there, people are just left wondering."

Artist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Jennifer Osborne, Outside InArtist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Jennifer Osborne, Outside In

Explaining his like for ambiguity and intriguing others with the unusual, David went on to explain why he keeps returning to the same location each year.

He said: "Windmill Hill is such a wonderful blank canvas to work on. It's a prominent spot in the middle of the town.

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"People pass and look up at it and expect to see it as it always is, and suddenly these strange shapes appear on it and they wonder what it is. I quite like that."

Artist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Mary SprinksArtist David Johnson preparing for the latest Windmill Hill exhibition. Picture: Mary Sprinks

David's art is also about trying to express the experience of blindness. While acknowledging that blindness brings with it limitations to a person's life, his artwork concentrates more on how blindness can offer positive insights and experiences.

"This particular piece is about viewing it from one spot," he said.

"There's only one spot in Hitchin where it can be understood. You can view it from anywhere, but there's only one spot it actually works from."

The intriguing and thought-provoking installation is free to visit, and David encourages everyone to come along to experience the installation.

"The title of it, 'concerto for fish and chip shop and windmill hill in three movements' - it's an unusual title for an art piece. 'Concerto' suggests there's a relationship between the fish and chip shop and Windmill Hill.

"Those two places speak to each other in this piece - it's a bit like a concerto where you hear the piano interact with an orchestra. This chip shop and the hill are in concert!"

David will be on the hill to talk about his work on Saturday, and hopes to do the same on Sunday - depending on the hot weather.

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