Dennis Robertson MSP and his faithful companion, guide-dog Mr Q have stepped into the frame for an innovative artistic exhibition.
A unique photographic exhibition comprising 22 portraits of blind and partially sighted people living in Scotland is being launched in Edinburgh today (Thursday).
‘Connecting Visions’ aims to overturn perceptions of people with sight loss as passive and dependent.
Its subjects include Dennis Robertson (MSP for Aberdeenshire West), Gordon Anthony (author of historical thrillers), Lindsay Scott (café manager), Sandra Wilson (retired careers adviser) and Jamie McDonald (stand-up comedian).
Edinburgh-based photographer Trudy Stade was inspired to put together the exhibition after watching McDonald perform live on stage alongside her husband, comedian Tom Stade (‘Live at the Apollo’).
Trudy said: “I realised his talent immediately and found myself chatting away to Jamie after the show.
“I knew someone at the sight loss charity RNIB Scotland and put forward the concept of portraits as something I, as a photographer, wanted to do.
“To challenge the misperceptions, including my own, that those affected with sight loss experience in their daily lives.
“I didn’t want to push aside the difficulties or frustrations of those living with little or no sight, but capture the essence of who they are through empowering and positive images.
“The photographs are shot in locations that express their personal determination, dignity and passions. Overall, the spread of subjects is amazing.”
Dennis Robertson MSP said: “Being blind has not debilitated me; on the contrary, it has enabled me to achieve many things that I otherwise would not have been able to do.
“Trudy’s exhibit highlights just how much can be achieved by blind and partially sighted individuals, or anyone for that matter, with the right support.”
Audiences will also get a chance to find out what being blind or partially sighted loss is like themselves.
Volunteers from RNIB Scotland will be handing out special spectacles that simulate different sight loss conditions.
All photos will also be audio-described.
Proceeds from the opening are being donated to RNIB Scotland.
The event has been organised by the charity’s Edinburgh Volunteer Fundraising Group, which is looking for new members to join.