From her living room in Hendon, paralysed artist Sarah Ezekiel paints beautiful pictures of flowers, trees and landscapes using only her eyes.

I went to meet Sarah at her home studio. She spoke to me using computer software with which she forms sentences before playing them out loud.

It only takes her a few minutes to form a sentence and with a flick of her gaze or a blink, the mother-of-two, who has motor neurone disease (MND), creates brushstrokes using highly sophisticated eye-tracking technology.

“I was diagnosed while pregnant with my son Eric,” remembers Sarah, who was given the devastating news by doctors in 2000. “It was horrible.”

Her illness impacted every aspect of the then 34-year-old’s life, and she rapidly lost the use of her hands, limbs and the ability to speak.

After three years living with MND, Sarah’s marriage collapsed and she was faced with the terrifying prospect of caring for her young children alone while dealing with the degenerative condition which attacks the nervous system.

“I need help to do ususal, everyday tasks,” says the 49-year-old. “I hate being dependent but I’ve got used to it and made a new life.

“I’m generally happy and grateful. I’m here for my kids.”

MND restricted her life-long love of painting for many years, however in 2012 she began to create art again using Tobii PCEye software, which allows her to control the mouse with her eyes.

She is able to click, zoom and design her work with a cursor through directing her gaze to different parts of the screen.

And with the help of Tobii Dynavox technology she can also communicate by selecting letters, words and phrases with her eyes.

The software has enabled Sarah to reclaim a significant amount of independence and she can use the internet, pay bills, operate her TV, open and close her curtains, message her carer and even open the front door with a glance.

“I still can’t believe I can paint with my eyes,” says the inspirational artist, who spent five isolated years without any assistive technology.

“I can control my environment so I’m more independent. I love it and it’s very easy to use.

“I believe that anyone can do almost anything now. There’s great technology now and people can do more.”

Sarah’s fascination with art began when she was just five years old, picking up leaves and painting them at her childhood home in Stepney Green.

She enrolled at Barnet College to study art aged 18, but later dropped out and took a job as a PA in the media industry.

“I was too immature and couldn’t cope with it really. I had to earn money so I did a secretarial course,” explains Sarah, who was crowned the London Jewish News Community Hero in 2010.

Inspired by artists including Tracey Emin and Gustav Klimt, Sarah draws on her journey with MND in her artwork.

For example, a piece entitled Teardrops was created after she fell out of bed one morning and her carer couldn’t hear her calling for help. She decided to take that experience and turn it into something positive.

“I just feel very content when I’m creating something, I love it,” says Sarah, who admits she has become more critical of her work in recent years.

“If something isn’t right, I can’t leave it,” continues the artist, who can spend many months working on each piece.

“I generally hate my work and think I should be better and must improve – typical tortured artist. My kids are my biggest critics and they encourage me too, so that’s great.”

Alongside her art, Sarah is secretary for northwest London’s branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and is on the board of the charity Movement for Hope, which uses art to raise awareness of neurological conditions.

“I love it,” she says. “I want to paint more but I could never stop the work I do. I have lived with MND much longer than most people so I have the experience to help others.”

Sarah’s Popred print is among the vibrant prints on sale at Furniture Village stores across the country to raise funds for The Matt Hampson Foundation, a charity which supports people who have been in debilitating accidents. For details: visit

Digital Nature Exhibition, The Marie Curie Hospice, Lyndhurst Gardens, Hampstead, June 12 to 26, open afternoon, Sunday, June 14, 2pm to 5pm. Details: 020 7853 3400,

To see more of Sarah’s artwork, visit: