MAASTRICHT (NL) - Eye For You seized on its relocation to Maastricht to take a critical look at the operation and social involvement of its eyewear store/eye care centre. Together with Stichting KUBES (an organization that promotes art by the blind), it worked on a new concept in which art and light are used to focus people's attention on the blind and visually impaired. The latter can exhibit artwork in the exhibition space, which takes up half of the centre. The sculptures are interspersed among a number of white, floor-to-ceiling cowl-like volumes which are used to display the collection. Thanks to this layout, people feel as if they are entering a gallery rather than a store for eyeglasses.
In designing the interior, architects Bassam El Okeily and Karla Menten allocated an important role to light. Hundreds of LEDs embedded in the walls of the white volumes spell out one continuous sentence in Braille: 'At times we open our eyes to see the world and, at times, we close our eyes to dream about it'. This illuminated Braille poetry attracts the attention of passers-by so that light becomes a means of communication, facilitating a dialogue about seeing and not seeing, between the clients and those who have no need of spectacles. (Hannelore Geeraerts)