To date, we have four pieces of international Deaf artwork in our collection – with paintings from Nepal, the Philippines and two pieces from Jordan. They are currently on tour with the Deaf Gain exhibition and can be seen in libraries across Lancashire throughout 2015. It is anticipated that the paintings will return to Deafway in 2016, in preparation for future touring opportunities.
This Cuban artwork was inspired by Ernesto “Che” Guevaras book, where an injured soldier’s hand is described gesturing up towards the sky, with the sun in the background representing the upcoming victory. Sunny said he recreated the hand with the sun rays in the background to reflect the event. In order to signify the Cuban revolution, He added a couple of aeroplanes above the hands and attached wings to the hand in homage to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for his country’s freedom.
Sunny explained this piece of artwork was inspired by a story of a trip to Nairobi in kenya. When undertaking a long trip to other villages, The Masai would record their journey by leaving muddy imprints of their hands on walls or doors that they passed, in the belief that Palm readers would be able to interpret their imprint and from that gain an understanding of the person and thus be able to predict their future.
‘Eye Empowered’ female
This is an imposing and powerful piece of art created by Rashmi, a young Deaf woman from Nepal. She discovered her passion for art as a child, at her hearing school where she was unable to communicate with her peers and turned to visual art as a way of expressing herself. Many of her pieces incorporate the theme of Deaf culture and the struggle Deaf people face in daily life. This piece portrays the importance of communication for Deaf people through their eyes and hands which provides a link to the brain.
These two cartoons were created by a Local published Deaf artist, who has been drawing since he attended the Royal Cross School in Preston as a child. The first was created in 1985 and the second was completed in 2000. They are one of many cartoons inspired by Deaf humour and celebrate the rich beauty of Deaf culture. We are fortunate that the artist himself has kindly agreed to loan his works to Deafway, recognising the importance of the collection.
Khaled Atieh was born in 1964 in Rusifa, a suburb of the Jordanian capital Amman. Of Palestinian descent, he was born Deaf. In his youth, he lived for a number of years in Egypt. When he returned to Amman he trained to be a carpenter at an institute for people with impaired speech and hearing.
Since he was young, Khaled has always sketched and painted, believing it to be the best way to communicate. He worked for a number of years as a carpenter, but continued to develop his talent for painting. His hobby became his profession when in 1986, he began work at the art department at the Prince Ali Institute for Deaf and Handicapped People in the Jordanian city of Zarqa. Since 1993, Khaled Atieh has worked as a lecturer in fine arts at the University of Amman.
Khaled’s work is exciting and multi-facetted. Every painting is a surprising composition of forms and colours. Closer inspection reveals yet more new elements. People and animals are his inspiration; the canvas reflects his emotion. Sometimes controlled and balanced, then again, impulsive and unpredictable. Here secretive and frightening, there colourful and explosive. His paintings often convey the mystic beauty of a fairy tale from a Thousand and One Nights.
‘Queen of Hearts’
‘RAYNA NG MGA PUSO’ (Queen of Hearts) is the second purchase in Deafway’s collection of International Deaf Art. The Artist, Agravante Omie is form the Philippines, and now lives on the island of Cebu. He says of the painting, ‘Puso, an icon of Cebuano food and culture, represents bountiful blessings and harmony among the people. The falling grains of rice symbolise the cycle of life and resilience in the face of adversity.