Unique works to go on display at Lexus Leicester’s showroom.

Before any leather is considered good enough for use in a Lexus, it is burned, ripped, scuffed and scored in a battery of gruelling tests to find just how well it will maintain its quality through years of wear and tear. East Midlands artist Claire Lawrence, who is registered blind, has captured the spirit of these tests in her creation of a series of new artworks, using the same leather for her canvas.

In a further interpretation of Lexus’s principles of “creating amazing,” she has been inspired by the multi-sensory qualities of the leather.  Her creative process involves burning holes in the leather, which are then laced with stitching before being coated with a clear varnish, adding extra dimensions of visual interest and tactility.

Claire said: “I usually work with canvas and at first I found the leather much harder to stitch and burn, and the burning was also more controlled. At first I was hesitant about varnishing the leather, as it was so beautiful, but I was encouraged by Lexus to do whatever I usually would to create my artworks.

“I am so glad I did, as the varnish on the leather is so crisp and enhances the burn and the colour of the material. They look far more organic, with the leather appearing to gain a flesh-like quality.”

Richard Rhodes, Lexus Leicester Head of Business, said: “Claire’s work is very special and adds an intriguing new dimension to Lexus’s concept of quality and craftsmanship. We are delighted to be able to support the work of a very talented local artist and hope that our customers and other visitors will enjoy seeing the exhibition.”

Claire was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition when aged eight. She went on to complete an art degree, but a subsequent sharp decline in her vision curtailed her artistic ambitions. It was the chance gift of a blowtorch in 2013 that proved the inspiration for a new creative approach that has produced new work and the Lexus commission.

“As I have tunnel vision, I can never see the piece as a whole, only sections of it, so in a sense my art is a representation of my eye sight,” said Claire.

You can find out more about Claire on her personal website www.sightlessvisionart.co.uk.