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DPhil student Francesca Dakin reviews 'A Different Kind of Vision', artist Amy Izat's poignant tale of health challenges and artistic transformation.

A Different Kind of Vision is an introspective journey into the life of artist Amy Izat. This work discusses her encounters with critical care and the persistent health complications that have left an indelible mark on her life and work as a fine artist.

Izat writes about how her healthcare challenges suddenly and starkly changed her life. She candidly reflects on how her health, illness, and experiences with critical care affected her and those around her. Following a sudden brain haemorrhage, Amy underwent emergency brain surgery, and thereafter several further invasive surgeries as a result of complications. These life-changing events meant that she was unable to take part in the ordinary activities of a young person, but had to look on as her peers went to university, travelled, and began their independent lives.

One of Amy Izat's works: click to enlargeOne of Amy Izat's works: click to enlarge

One result of the surgical complications was the partial loss of her sight, thereby literally and figuratively giving her ‘different vision’; a unique perspective on life, as well as influencing her artwork and artistic process. The book highlights particular pieces of her work created for an exhibition for visually impaired artists and describes her process of making and destroying detailed pencil drawings as a mechanism to convey her changed way of seeing the world.

At the core of this autobiographical work are Amy’s personal reflections and emotions. She bares her soul, offering readers a profoundly moving account of her journey through health challenges and artistic expression. Each page resonates with her unique voice and perspective, making for a deeply immersive and emotive reading experience. Amy's narrative highlights the transformative potential of personal storytelling in the context of health and healing, aligning with the department's commitment to understanding and using patient experiences in healthcare and shaping health service delivery.

A Different Kind of Vision stands as a poignant and thought-provoking text. Amy Izat's story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and her art serves as a powerful channel for expressing the complexities of her journey. This book invites readers to see the world through a different lens — one shaped by both adversity and the enduring power of creativity.

A Different Kind of Vision is available through her Instagram page, @amyizat_art.

For information about Amy's art and exhibitions, visit her website

A second artwork from Amy Izat. Click to enlargeA second artwork from Amy Izat. Click to enlarge

A third artwork from Amy Izat. Click to enlargeA third artwork from Amy Izat. Click to enlarge

Opinions expressed are those of the author/s and not of the University of Oxford. Readers' comments will be moderated - see our guidelines for further information.


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