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October 20, 2020

A press release:

Art In.. is delighted to announce that their artist Richard Butchins will present the documentary the Disordered Eye on BBC4 on 4 November 2020 at 9pm.

This investigative, entertaining and provocatively polemic one-hour film, reveals the enormous impact made on art by impairment and disability and in so doing, reveals that seeing is far more nuanced than we imagine. From blind sculptors, painters, to neuroscientists, Richard uncovers some fascinating ways contemporary visually impaired artists deal with vision loss. 

Richard Butchins is not only an award-winning filmmaker but an artist himself. His own disability informs Richard’s work as an artist and he currently is undertaking a PhD by Practice at the University of Kent’s School of Arts. Richard says: “I use my own experience as a multiple disabled person to make work which examines disability through both mainstream television documentary in arts and current affairs, and my personal art practice.”

At present Richard is reinventing Vanitas through fine art photography, this project is called Floracide. He places flowers and meaningful objects in dramatic lighting, using techniques that reflect his background in film making. This can be translated into private commissions that incorporate items that are personal to the individual or client. Richard says:” The purpose of Vanitas paintings was ‘Memento Mori’ outwardly an expression of luxury and wealth, it was actually about the transient and fleeting nature of life and the possessions therein. It was considered the lowest form of the painted arts. The portrayal of the ‘perfection’ of the human form was the epitome of artistic expression. How apt then, to use Vanitas as a metaphor for the disabled body. While it could be said beauty is in the eye of the beholder I’m interested in the way beauty obscures cruelty and brutality. Cut flowers. Dismembered and broken bodies. These are pictures of the process of death.”

On his disability, Richard says: “All my work is informed by disability in some way or the other. I am not an activist or a campaigner but disability is the reason I take photographs and not painting.” Richard says:” In my PHD, I’m researching how disability has been completely ignored and side-lined by the art world. Cezanne is famous for painting apples. No one asks why he painted apples and not bananas or pineapples for example. It wasn’t for their shape or their colour, what made them so unique for him is it’s the fruit you use when you have diabetes to stop your blood sugar from crashing. Cezanne had diabetes and he would have to eat apples and bread to stop him from having crashes. Cezanne’s biographers by ignore this fact. His work was completely informed by his disability. My point is that there are many more significant artists out there whose work was intimately linked to their disability, although I am no art historian and should not claim this, I suppose it’s why I am doing a PHD.”

For images and release click HERE

For further information and high-res images contact:

Servanne Sohier or John Cotton:


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