That’s what I thought the first Christmas we spent together in 2005! “Where’s Ron?” I asked myself. He kept disappearing. Putting it down to having ants in his pants, I carried on through the silly season and at last Christmas arrived!

“here’s your present” he said quietly as he handed me a flat square parcel. “I made it for you!”

“Oh that’s where you’ve been disappearing to then,” I exclaimed!

I opened the package, running my hand around what felt like a frame, and some bumps on it. Reading the bumps with my hands Ron added in some description, “It’s a braille art work that reads the word vision, in tactile print as well as braille.” He continued, “because even though you can’t see, I still think you have vision.”

I cried. Tears fell on the painting. In a quiet voice I replied, “I’ve only bought you something!”

Since then, Ron has only dabbled in braille art works until recently, when he decided to do some more. Ron Esplin now has an exhibition at the Rob Piggott Gallery at 8 Jetty Street called a Portrait of Dunedin. While most of the works are water colours of Dunedin scenes, there is a beautiful section containing braille art works, created by Ron himself.

The works are based on contracted and uncontracted braille, and Ron encourages you to come and touch them! Unlike most galleries where the printed sign reads “Please do not touch”, these ones you are allowed to feel!

The exhibition runs until next Tuesday, 13 September and the gallery hours are as follows:

Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 September, 10 am – 4 pm

Monday 12 & Tuesday 13 September, 12 noon – 2 pm!

8 Jetty Street is just below the big intersection of Princes, Manse, Stafford and Jetty Streets! (opposite the Chip monks car park) (that’s instructions for the blindies amongst us!)

Plus, there is an article in today’s Otago Daily Times on Page 5 entitled “Innovative braille art gift to wife”

Ron, thank you for being inspired by braille! You see beauty everywhere, including in blindness and braille, and for that I love you very much!