LONDON-based photographer Rankin has teamed up with international charity Sightsavers to launch a campaign to raise awareness of the thousands of women in the world who go blind every year. Sightsavers reports that over 20 million women in the world are needlessly blind, yet operations to restore sight are available for less that £5; less than a new mascara or lipstick.
"I can't imagine what it must be like to be blind and I can't even begin to comprehend the distress it causes," Rankin said. "What is most upsetting is that so much is treatable, and people suffer unnecessarily. With so many women affected by blindness, the work of Sightsavers is of vital importance. They are reaching people who often have no access to help, and taking the inequality out of treatment."
Rankin worked with notable make-up artists including Michelle Campbell, Ayami, Eli Wakamatsu and Linda Ohrstrom on the images which interpret sight and beauty through the eyes of the creative.
"This global issue is something that has affected members of my family," make-up artist Michelle Campbell revealed. "I currently have a great aunt living in Trinidad who is blind in one eye as a result of a cataract. My design tells the story of what can happen when someone suffers an extreme case of Trachoma. I used real flies instead of fake, which was Rankin's suggestion, and I think it really works. The variations of green you get from real flies inspired my colour palette for the make-up."
The eleventh World Sight Day takes place on October 8. To learn more about the charity or to find out how you can donate visit www.sightsavers.org.
My dad nearly went blind with Cataracts. I remember driving home one night and he stopped the car and said, "that's it, I can't see anymore, I can't drive." He had surgery in both eyes and now sees much better, but still wears glasses.
Out of all the senses I could lose, sight would be my most feared. I was walking in the dark and managed to find my way to my room and took off my make up, but that's only because of routine. To become suddenly blind would be shocking. Anyone seen "Blindness" with Julianne Moore? Scary concept. I should really take better care of my eyes, I don't remove my mascara often enough. Very bad.
I admire Rankin in all that he does after watching him on Rankin Live. He's a lovely guy with a great heart.