7 September 2015
Becoming deaf, my hearing has deteriorated to the point where conversation can sometimes be difficult. I am learning to lipread. Mouths have become more than a means of aural communication or emotional countenance, they are visual expressions in the most basic sense.
I watch words. I work hard to hear, make mistakes, get tired, I become invisible. As the population ages, there are a lot of us about, in isolation whilst surrounded by people, observing mankind through a veil of miscommunications, anxious, apologetic. Loosing a primary sense is a slow bereavement.
There are words and phrases used constantly…..
”Sorry?” (I can’t hear you)
“Please don’t turn away from me” (I need to see your lips)
“Look at me please” (I need to see your lips)
“Don’t walk away from me” (I need to see your lips!!)
These are just a few of the practical requests that I realized were holding in their words huge emotional content which went much further than hearing loss. The work I’m engaged in emerged from a growing disability but has developed into the expression of a more universal hunger, the need to communicate under stress, and the difficulty in doing that. We’ve all been there, when words fail us, when you can’t hear your thoughts, your mind goes blank. You try to find the right words but there is just a cacophany.
The Ladies. Small papier maché figures which are polymorphic in their use. They can be part of a sculptural installation, or can be photographed and manipulated into digital prints, they appear in the clocks. Many have fantasized heads invented to express their emotions, most are veiled. They are used to create stories to be recorded in other media or they can stand in their own right.