Monday, January 04, 2016

Sargy Mann: Thoughts towards a talk - on video

I included a link to a video of Sargy Mann talking about what it's like to be a blind painter - and how to see more and see better - on my Facebook Page at the weekend.
These are some of the words you would have heard from blind painter Sargy Mann in a TED Talk - if he hadn't died before he could deliver it
The video has now "gone viral" - with many people appreciating listening to a man who could paint but not see -  which is why I'm now including it here as well.

It's very impressive. It would have been great to see it as a proper TED talk but I think I like this version better! See what you think, the video is just over 12 minutes long.

At the end I've also included links to another couple of videos about him made by his son
  • "Probably the best blind painter in Peckham" a flick through the book of the same name
  • "Sargy Mann" - the 38 minute documentary made about his father just after he went completely blind - which tackles .

Sargy Mann: More. Different. Better. Thoughts towards a talk. from Peter Mann Pictures on Vimeo.
In the last months of his life Sargy was working on a TED talk, which he was scheduled to give in London in May 2015. In early 2015 he had two or three drafts, each with a very different emphasis and he was still coming up with new ideas. Thinking it might help him edit his material down to the allotted eighteen minutes I filmed him trying out what he had written and also kept the camera rolling as he talked about the ideas and what he was hoping to achieve.

Sargy died in April 2015. The talk was never finished but he had continued working on it or ideas that had come out of the process until the very end.
In January 2015 Sargy Mann: Perceptual systems, an inexhaustible reservoir of information and the importance of art was published by spbooks ( this publication attempts to bring together an extended version of the ideas Sargy was developing and which were sparked by the invitation to do the talk.
This is a link to the article Parting words from an artist of rare vision in The Guardian where I came across the video.

It covers an interview with his son Peter Mann, and Sargy’s wife, Frances. 
I have always had a frustration in that people love his paintings but they don’t understand what is to me the most interesting thing,” Peter said. “There was always the slightly patronising ‘isn’t it amazing he can do this and he is blind’. What is more interesting was the fact that he could only do this because he was blind.”

More Videos

'Probably the Best Blind Painter in Peckham' Flickthrough from Peter Mann Pictures on Vimeo.

Sargy Mann from Peter Mann Pictures on Vimeo.

Previous blog posts about Sargy Mann

  • Sargy Mann 1937 - 2015 (Apr 9, 2015) Cadogan Contemporary have announced the very sad news that Sargy Mann died on Easter Sunday. He was a quite remarkable painter
  • So you think you have problems painting? (Mar 7, 2015) Two video interviews with the blind painter Sargy Mann + articles about the painter and how he works and where you can see his paintings. Plus links to where you could see his work

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