A man from West Drayton who was on the brink of ending his life after becoming blind has been able to channel his talents in an unexpected way. Colin Hoppe, now aged 59, has been a sculptor and potter for more than a decade, with his work being celebrated in galleries in Mayfair and Kensington and in public comissions. Despite having no sight, Colin is able to create grand works of art, some even life-size, with incredible detail. But don’t call him an “artist”. Colin lacks any pretence about his work, despite having an unmistakable creative flair. Before losing his sight he had worked as a chef for more than 20 years, ending up by creating spectacular dishes at GlaxoSmithKline in Brentford. But Colin was already losing his sight and he knew where it was leading. Like his brothers, he had a rare genetic condition known as retina pigmentosa, which meant he slowly lost sight in both eyes. He had to quit his job as a chef for health and safety reasons and he soon fell into a spiral of self-pity and doubt. “I was being a pillock,” he reflects with typical candour. “It was a selfish thing to even… Read full this story
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