Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chelsea Coon (111)

acrylic on paper, 20 by 26 inches.

-Stardust 3-
acrylic on paper, 20 by 26 inches.

Chelsea writes:

When I was six years old the pink eye virus developed in my right eye. The doctor said there was nothing to be alarmed about and it was a very common virus. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months where I made multiple visits weekly to the office to check out the progress. The virus had been cured, but now there was a new virus present and my vision was decreasing at a rapid rate. Despite all the office visits and numerous variations of medications I became legally blind in my right eye by the time I was 12 years old. My cornea had completely clouded over with scared tissue. My parents did all they could, taking me from doctor to doctor to hear all the options we had. At that point surgery was not an possible until I was at least 18 years old. We talked to doctors all across Connecticut, and even went to Duke Medical Center in North Carolina to see a specialist. All their conclusions were the same; the only option was for a cornea transplant. When I was 20 years old I got the transplant. It was from a 48 year old donor who's circumstances of death were not disclosed to me. My cornea was cut out and replaced with the donors and stitched into my eye with 17 microscopic threads. The cornea transplant worked, and my vision has already increased dramatically.

I have always been extremely sensitive to light but completely intoxicated by it. The purity of intense white light has always left me in awe. My doctor always struggled to read the surface of my eye using his lights. He explained to me, my eyes are very sensitive to light, which is not just a result of the deformity of the scaring in my eye but also common in people who have blue eyes. The lightness of the iris of the eye allows for more light to pass through, whereas someone with darker eyes, say brown, does not have the amount of light passing through their irises. With this knowledge, my entire perception and amazement with light was given a sense validity. In my work I am constantly dealing with and addressing light. I paint the formations of stars which is the result of gas, dust, and time. I imagine the particles accumulating, forming this blinding light, and that this light exists as the evidence of the moment when the life of a star has been created.