Erica Tandori 'Celestial light'

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In the first year of art school, contemporary artist and academic Erica Tandori was diagnosed with macular degeneration. The doctor told her to “leave art school, give up, it’s no use”. The moment proved pivotal, but not straightforwardly so: despite the doctor’s advice and her limited vision, Tandori refused to abandon art. She built a practice intent on articulating the phenomenology of macular degeneration, of seeing the world through eyes deemed legally blind.  

Tandori’s work is a counter to, in her words, the prevailing notion that “the soul of the artist is in the retina”. Her position is startlingly immersive. Captured in plein air, ‘Celestial Light’ pictures bushland. The work shimmers like oil on water, at once dreamy and vivid. It is a vision of the bush delineated from smell, hearing and touch – silken grass bending under foot, a canopy of light beaming overhead, whispering leaves. 

The best way to understand Tandori’s practice is by observing the difference between sight and vision. Where the former deals in optical data, the latter lies in imagination, desire and memory; in her work however, Tandori suggests this distinction is not as resounding as suspect. Her rendition of the Victorian bush is an imagining, yet it feels real. For her, art transcends the translation of optical data to become “a safe place where [she can] see the world clearly, where there is beauty, colour, light and drama, a world not created through the diseased retina but through a desire to escape it”. 

The recipient of a PhD, Masters and several awards, Tandori works alongside ophthalmologists and academics to redress the divides between those with and without vision impairment. She considers how art can be experienced by the visually impaired, and how the world as seen by the blind can translate to the seeing. In the intoxicating realism of  ‘Celestial Light’, she reminds us that no matter the status of your retina, our relationship to the surrounding world is far more personal, emotional and imagined than we realise. Vision more often than not, overwhelms sight. 

This work will enliven collections of contemporary art and landscapes.


Erica TANDORI (1965 - )
'Celestial light'
oil on canvas
Image Size: 91 x 91 cm
Dimensions: 94 x 94 x 7 cm
Signed: signed verso
Availability: in stock
Condition: As New: The work of art is in the same immaculate condition as when it was created. This could be the description for a work of art that may have been in storage for years, never sold on the market but may still be some years old.

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At Angela Tandori Fine Art, we want to empower Confident Collectors. We know that starting an art collection can be daunting - markets fluctuate, trends waver and theories permeate. Our best advice? Start with art that speaks to you. Whether you're drawn to art for its audacity, power or narrative, discovering what you love is exciting. And to ease the process, we're here to help with advice, services and consultation. Start your own art collection today and tell your story.

About Us

Since 2001, Angela Tandori Fine Art has been connecting people across the world with art they love. With a focus on Modern and Contemporary collectable Australian art, we offer a platform where first-time, as well as established collectors can discover art with confidence. Always available online - we are professional so you can be passionate.

About Angela Tandori

Our director, Angela Tandori is a second generation art dealer who begun working in the industry in 1998. Armed with vast experience in auctioning, valuing, exhibiting and consulting in Australian art, Angela has honed her vision for the modern collector. She holds a certificate in Auction & Valuation practice and is a member of the Art Consulting Association of Australia and an associate member of the Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia. Plus, she’s an avid art collector herself!