My next set of illustrations have been based on case studies from the Oliver Sacks book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. The book recounts various cases of neurological disorders experienced by the doctor and author.

"He faced me with his ears, I came to think, but not with his eyes. These, instead of looking, gazing, at me, ‘taking me in’, in the normal way, made sudden strange fixations - on my nose, on my right ear, down to my chin, up to my right eye - as if noting (even studying) these individual features, but not seeing my whole face, it’s changing expressions, ‘me’, as a whole."

 

"…finally his gaze settled on his foot: ‘That is my shoe, yes?’ Did I mis-hear? Did he mis-see? ‘My eyes,’ he explained, and put a hand to his foot. ‘This is my shoe, no?’ ‘No it is not. That is your foot. There is your shoe.’ ‘Ah! I thought it was my foot.’ Was he joking? Was he mad? Was he blind? If this was one of his ‘strange mistakes’, it was the strangest mistake I had ever come across."

 

"While we were talking my attention was caught by the pictures on the walls. ‘Yes,’ Mrs P said, ‘he was a gifted painter as well as a singer. The School exhibited his pictures every year.’ I strolled past them curiously - they were in chronological order. All of his earlier work was naturalistic and realistic, with vivid mood and atmosphere, but finely detailed and concrete. Then, years later, they became less vivid, less concrete, less realistic and naturalistic; but far more abstract, even geometrical and cubist. Finally, in the last paintings, the canvas became nonsense, or nonsense to me - mere chaotic lines and blotches of paint … This wall of paintings was a tragic pathological exhibit, which belonged to neurology, not art."