During Feb of 2016 – Nancy Rourke hosted an online challenge – inviting artists in De’VIA Central facebook to create an De’VIA artwork a day using a specific motif for each day. Below are definitions, examples and documents showcasing the artworks that were created for each specific motif [these are shown when you click on the link].
Day 1 CHAIR Day 1 CHAIR DeVIA challenge 2016
Meaning: Chairs have a number of meanings in De’VIA art: isolation, passivity, emptiness, but also welcoming, collectivism. Chairs can represent restrictive activity, places where Deaf children are forced into as well as a part of Deaf space (especially when used with round tables).
Examples: Three White Chairs by Betty G. Miller, The Hearing Test Room by Nancy Rourke. A Party of One by Mary Rappazzo, Bell School, 2014 by David Call.
Day 3 SHADOW Day 3 SHADOW
Meaning: something hidden, a message
Examples: Detour by Chuck Baird, Newborn Hearing Screening by Nancy Rourke
Day 4 WINDOW Day 4-WINDOW pt. 1 Day 4-WINDOW pt. 2
Meaning: Windows, because they can be seen through, represent a lack of barriers. They are visual symbols and are passage ways/openings to Deaf spaces and the World.
Examples: Introspection I by Tony Folwer and …And There Was Light by Patti Durr.
Day 5 BELL Day 5 BELL pt. 1 Day 5 BELL pt. 2 Day 5 BELL pt. 3
Meaning: Bells represent sound and the testing of hearing ability. Bells can be used to distract Hearing people and get their attention.
Examples: Your Joy, My Pain by David Call, Cowbell Wristbands by Ellen Mansfield, and Liberation by Warren Miller
Day 6 BIRDHOUSE Day 6 BIRDHOUSE
Meaning: Deaf communities, safe haven, safe from audism and oppression. Category: AFFIRMATION
Example: The Birds of Eyeth by David Call
Day 7 MAZE Day 7 MAZE
Meaning: confusion, lost, repetitions, nowhere to go, no hope.
Examples: Stairs to Nowhere by David Call, Deaf Education Pinball by Paul Johnston.
Day 8 LANTERN Day 8 LANTERN
Meaning: searching for truth, truth seeking, or ancestors.
Examples: Chercher by Susan Dupor, The Lost Mural by Nancy Rourke
Day 9 BLOOD DROP/TEAR Day 9 BLOOD DROP-TEAR
Meaning: eye stare becomes exhausted, close attention, repetition, Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: Oralism Hardship by Ellen Mansfield
Day 10 INTERPRETER Day 10 INTERPRETER
Meaning: Interpreters often represent access to communication between Deaf and Hearing people. Category: AFFIRMATION
Examples: Interpreter by Betty G. Miller and Interpreter by Nancy Rourke
Day 11 ROPE Day 11 ROPE
Meaning: tug-a-war, struggling, tied-up.
Example: Deadlock by Chuck Baird, The Old Debate: Manualism vs Oralism by Nancy Rourke
Day 12 MOUNTAIN Day 12 MOUNTAIN
Meaning: Mountains symbolize the strength and survival of the Deaf community and Deaf culture standing strong against the “waves of oralism.” (based on a quote from Paddy Ladd).
Examples: Coming Home Mural by various artists, Veditz Building the Mountain by Patti Durr, and Color ASL by Nancy Rourke
Meaning: held back by something, either physically or emotionally. Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: Caged by Noel King
Day 14 STREAM Day 14 STREAM
Meaning: A stream can represent smooth travel and navigation through the world without significant barriers. The environment of streams and water represent places where Deaf people naturally fit and being able to hear is not an “advantage.” Stream also means between both worlds, feeling split for resistance work.
Examples: De’Humankind by Ellen Mansfield and Stream of Consciousness by Susan Dupor
Day 16 DANDELION Day 16 DANDELION
Meaning: Dandelions symbolize nature, and natural-growing things that are sometimes viewed by the majority/dominant culture as undesirable. Dandelions refer to growth and future in the face of this oppression. [Based on an ASL poem by Clayton Valli] (see also the related motif of flower)
Examples: Les signes volent au gré du vent by Arnaud Balard, DEAF-GAIN: self-portrait by Ellen Mansfield, and Dandelions by Nancy Rourke
Day 17 HOURGLASS Day 17 HOURGLASS
Meaning: running out of time.
Examples: Running Out of Time by David Call
Day 18 THIRD EYE Day 18 THIRD EYE
Meaning: Collective Consciousness, Category: AFFIRMATION Examples: 2013 De’VIA mural.
Day 19 HARLEQUIN/JESTER Day 19 HARLEQUIN/JESTER
Meaning: joker, someone who lies, phony personality Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: Victim at Oral School by Darlene Weir
Day 20 MOTHER OF ALL DEAF SOULS Day 20 MOTHER OF ALL DEAF SOULS
Meaning: Mother protects the Deaf community, cherishes Deaf babies. Safe place. Category: AFFIRMATION
Examples: The Destiny by David Call.
Day 21 ZIPPER Day21_ZIPPER
Meaning: keeping the truth from unveiled, keeping quiet, colonized, Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: AGBELL’s Approval by Kat Brockway
Day 22 BRIDGE Day22 BRIDGE
Meaning: bringing both worlds together, coalition, connect, teamwork, reinforcement. Category: AFFIRMATION
Examples: Language Equality by Nancy Rourke
Day 23 FENCE Day 23 FENCE
Meaning: within boundaries, barriers, protection. Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: Flight with Natural Sign by Ellen Mansfield
Day 24 NEST Day 24 NEST
Meaning: A nest is a nurturing Deaf space. It represents a community protecting, sheltering and fostering a future generation.
Category: in general, works with this motif are categorized as affirmation works
Examples: Our Precious Nest by Nancy Rourke and Martha’s Vineyard, Mother Nest by David Call.
Day 25 BLACK HOLE Day 25 BLACK HOLE
Meaning: in the pit, disappearance, Black holes represent Audism, it takes away Deaf identity and Deaf Culture. Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: Color ASL by Nancy Rourke
Day 26 MOTH Day 28 MOTH
Meaning: Need for light, Deaf people in the kitchen. Category: AFFIRMATION
Examples: Moth’s Night by Daniel Winship.
Day 27 BUTTON EYE Day 27 BUTTON EYE
Meaning: doll, brainwashed, colonized. Hides Deaf Identity. Category: RESISTANCE
Examples: Submission by David Call
Day 28 SPIRAL Day 28 SPIRAL
Meaning: SPIRAL is a symbol like a swirl, meaning cochlear as it can be used as a resistance category. It can also be used for affirmation, as to dreaming, or shape like a flower. I will leave that up to you, on how you define spiral in your own category.
Day 29 TREASURE BOX Day 29 TREASURE BOX
Meaning: Treasure box really means a box of valuable ASL. Category: AFFIRMATION
Examples: The Treasure by Ella Mae Lentz [ASL poem]