An unexpected life

Sarah Ezekiel has been making money as an artist since 2012. In the same year, she received questions on social media about buying her art. Between 2000 and 2012, she hadn’t painted at all, so it was a flying start for her. Sarah’s sense of form, colour and composition is evident to the viewer. Flowers, trees, leaves, and nature indeed come to life in her digital artwork.

Sarah is blessed with a fabulous talent. At the same time, she lives with MND (Motor Neuron Disease) and is paralysed. For this reason, she creates her art using technology that allows her to control the computer with her eyes. Being paralysed also means that she cannot speak so that others can understand her. The technology gives her consequently autonomy both artistically and in terms of communicating with others.

Sarah was diagnosed with MND in 2000 when she was 34. She had a full life with two young children who she very soon couldn’t take care of by herself. Life came to a standstill, and nothing was the same. Especially given that the disease means a shortened life expectancy. In an article in The Guardian from 2011, she talks about her thoughts on death during those initial years.

In 2005, her life took a positive turn when she was given a computer that she could control with assistive devices. It allowed her to write down her thoughts. But it wasn’t until 2012 that her life took the direction it has today. The reason for the change is called Eye Gaze Technology, a technology that allows her to entirely control the computer with her eyes. This technology together with speech synthesis even gives her “a voice”. As she was able to control her computer and software, she could after twelve years create art again.

It was amazing and I still can’t believe I can create again, she says today.

With technology came not only the independence to create art again, but she also had the opportunity to sell her art, which meant a lot to her.

I was able to buy eye gaze technology and loan it to people because there was no funding available then.

Today, she is active and volunteers with a charity called Lifelites, which donates technology to children’s hospices. Through donations, the children get the chance to communicate, play and be creative.

I’m glad to live in an age when disabled people have technology which enables them to communicate and much more, she says.

 

Discover Sarah’s art on her website: https://www.sarahezekiel.com/

You can buy Sarah’s art on Etsy: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EzekielArtShop

For information on Motor Neurone Disease: https://www.mndassociation.org/

Read Sarah’s thoughts on life and death in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/jun/19/living-death-terminal-illness-cancer