Nancy Rourke

 

Nancy Rourke

Artist’s Statement (from http://www.nancyrourke.com/biography.htm – go to see Bio, Art Process, Symbols, Colors, Exhibits)

My work has a centralized focus that makes a theme; resistance, affirmation and liberation art. I create words, images, colours and all of the construction that show blue tapes, yellow lights, hands, eyes, elephant, horse, strings, cracks, bandaids and so on.  Primary colours are what I use. I also use monochrome for reinforcement. These elements make a big exposure to both Deaf and Hearing society.

This is what Deaf View/Image Art is all about, my interpretation. I make a political statement.  I capture today’s society that needed attention because it is long overdue.  Part of it, is to educate and part of it is a wake-up call. These influences came from painters Jean Michel Basquiat and Jacob Lawrence, who studied the civil rights movement. In resistance art, the work shows mask of benevolence, linguistic controversy, oralism, mainstreaming, genetic engineering, communication barrier, colonialism, paternalism, and audism. In affirmation art, the work shows empowerment, ASL, Deaf culture, identity, acceptance, Deaf history, and Deafhood. In liberation art, I combine both resistance and affirmation that shows empowerment and identity. I paint how Deaf people have been controlled by predominantly audist environments. I seek to portray on how much suffering and submissive Deaf people were, many years when Aristotle (384-322 BC) said “Deaf born senseless and incapable to reason.” I felt this was important for the audience to see who and what our human rights are. Discrimination was too much and this is what I am painting today.

The artworks listed here by Nancy Rourke were exhibited during the Close Reception of the To Deafhood With Love exhibit at AMoR on October 2, 2016.  See more information and enlarged images at: http://www.nancyrourke.com/2016paintings.htm

symbolprotestmed

The Revolution of The Dance (2016)
Oil on Canvas
16″ x 20″
This painting shows the Mother of All Deaf Souls motif and the Elephant Octopus motif. This is about the ongoing battle between the Deaf community and the Alexander Graham Bell Associates, and its allies. The Mother of All Deaf Souls stood up firmly with open hands and the Deaf people are right behind her. The Elephant Octopus’ arms are flying around (feeling tense and uptight). They are false prophets giving wrongful information to new parents of Deaf babies and children. There is a chaos. We stand firmly. There is a symbol on one yellow hand, that represents the Napalise sign for Deaf, with a bent finger. The background comes from the painting, , We Came, We Saw, We Conquered.

handhearttreemed

The Heart Hand Tree (2016)
Oil on Canvas
16″ x 20″
This is a fourth version of a Hand Tree. This painting shows the living heart that symbolizes an expression that shows the truth be told when the Deaf artist opens the trunk door. Making sure the heart is pumping and alive. There are handroots underneath the ground that ensure its sturdy and rooted forever. The Deaf artist with a ladder, came from the Color ASL painting, and continues to travel, always coloring and painting as of caring the handtrees. The waving white clouds are the hair waving Mother of All Deaf Souls row her boat.

heartbleedmed

Heart Bleed  (2016)
Oil on Canvas
8″ x 10″

The painting shows the bleeding heart coming out of the chest. It means a Deaf person opens her chest and express in Deaf experience into art after a long hidden expression inside, waiting to come out. It shows colorful bleeding of the heart. The Deaf person finally expresses her in art as this is De’VIA Deaf View / Image Art.
It is a liberation category, meaning resistance at first and then it becomes affirmative.
The heart is the motif and the blood drops is another motif.
See video for the painting description: https://youtu.be/S5WXEvvbi0o

bleedingstumpmed

The Bleeding Stump (2016)
Oil on Canvas
8″ x 10″
This painting shows a tree stump, a motif that symbolizes a lifetime seat that gives HOPE. The living heart symbolizes an expression that shows the truth is coming out more, and an overcome any resistance, a solution to a better position and so on. Especially when it comes from De’VIA, a Deaf experience is been exposed to reality. The bleeding that spills from the heart coming down the stump symbolizes the expression that is to be seen and expressed and to be recognized.

johntwilliams

John T Williams (2016)
Oil on Canvas
16″ x 20″
This is John T Williams, who was shot and killed by a Seattle police on August 30, 2010. He is the 7th generation of woodcarvers from Washington State. He is Deaf on one ear. There is a memorial totem pole at the Seattle Center. There is a documentary story about John and how he was shot and the Native Americans protested and about his family.

veditzvmed

Veditz Victory (2016)
Oil on Canvas
8″ x 10″
This is a painting of George Veditz with his name sign, “V” when he was a teacher at Colorado School for the Deaf, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

defendaslmed

Defending ASL (2016)
Oil on Canvas
8″ x 10″
This painting shows two birds, a Raven and a Dove. The Raven saw the boys signing and warned them not to sign at all. While the Dove who represents ASL Rights, is defending the Raven from attacking the boys. See the three spotlights shining at A S L. This is inspired by the book, Made to Hear and from the classic painting “Oralist Child Abuse.” http://www.nancyrourke.com/oralistchildabuse.htm

institutionalizedmed

Institutionized (2016)
Oil on Canvas
8″ x 10″
This is in the building where all different types of tests are been done. Newborn Hearing Screening says, it needs more testing. They wont say, it failed. It will upset the parents. Parents are in training. The institution refuses any access of American Sign Language to a “hearing loss” child. They push against the door to keep ASL out. The clapping monkey refers to a group of professionals, who train the parents on many ways to keep their deaf children in the hearing world. From the Newborn Hearing Screening, there needs to have a “Deaf Culture Protection Act”, according to the author, Edwin Black. American Sign Language and Deaf Culture needs to be addressed immediately, so parents know there is more to it for a Deaf Child.

deviajourneyMED.jpg

Surdism-De’VIA Journey (2016)
Oil on Canvas
8″ x 10″
I have updated this painting by filling in the white swirl. What I filled in, was adding my next art journey, Surdism.
Surdism was introduced by Arnaud Balard – a French Deafblind artist and ARTivist. He created the manifesto that is similar to De’VIA, and it includes other genres; Deaf theatre, poetry, literature, cinema, and visual art.
Surdism focuses on the Deaf experience that evolves social change. From the beginning of my De’VIA journey in 2009, I was still searching for more that had not come out until 2012, where Second Wave of De’VIA started.
That is ARTivism and politics.

On the white swirl journey, De’VIA was re-invented into the Second Wave:

SECOND WAVE OF De’VIA, WHAT IS SURDISM?, SOCIAL CHANGE, ARTIVISM, TRUTH BE TOLD, DEAF EXPERIENCE, COLLABORATION, FLY, FLY, SOAR, SOAR, and PAH!

See more at http://www.nancyrourke.com/surdismdeviajourney.htm