La main voyante

A series of acrylics on glass paintings, a series of plant-based plastic on canvas paintings, and a series of digital photographs, 2019

This is an ongoing synesthetic project realised with and for blind people. It involves seeing further than our eyes can see, learning about the visual power of touch, marvelling at non-ocular forms of sight redefining how we perceive and hence who we are.

The artist worked with a group of blind students, who agreed to touch a series of acrylics paintings on glass without knowing that the subjects were the artist's fingerprints, and without having a clue about the artist herself and her practice. They wrote texts on what their hands "saw." They never realised they were fingerprints. Instead, they saw landscapes, trees, shadows, lights. They saw water, wood, flowers. Without knowing, they were naming all the recurrent subjects in Nijhuis's work. "I was moved," says she, "vision is so much more than what hits the eye." So she started again, re-painting the fingerprints, but not as they visually appear : rather, as the blind had seen them—metastable shapes fluctuating between states and scales, white on white, as the Braille alphabet, extruded through a 3D pen, like embroidered tales of the unexpected.