Thursday, January 06, 2011

My part of the Compassion Project

The Compassion Project is an art project, a mosaic, made by students all over our fair city.

The Compassion Project inspired discussion, thought, and potentially acts of compassion.

Students decorated tiles to become part of a large mosaic. Teachers could volunteer to decorate a tile for the mosaic, too, so I offered to make one. Mine is still sitting, blank, in the kitchen. I have ideas, but I'm still struggling with the details.

I really want to emphasize visual and hearing impairments, disabilities. I thought about incorporating more disabilities into my 6" x 6" tile, but decided to keep it personal and stick with what I know. I can't use La Petite's "Touching Words" photo; I would need to take my own picture. Another idea: I could create a border using the word compassion in Braille. We have a Braille embosser and a labeler, too; the Braille border would look good.

But hearing impairment is harder to portray as visual art. I could use American Sign Language, finger spelling the word compassion, but finger spelling isn't really accurate. The true sign for compassion would be an active sign, incorporating motion that won't fit on a small tile in a mosaic. A photo of hearing aids, side by side with the Braille? Maybe, but that seems lame. There must be something better.

A quote might be nice. A quote in the middle, surrounded by a Braille border spelling compassion or rewriting the quote itself, could be effective. Maybe the quote could reference hearing impairment.

There is Helen Keller's "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." It's a good sentiment, but the quote is overused. I'd rather find something else.

Here's one from actress Marlee Matlin: "It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I'm not crazy about using."

Then there is "Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were made to stand out?" I saw this first in DeafMom's blog. She tells me it comes from the movie What a Girl Wants.

I'm looking for a way to represent hearing impairment on a 6" by 6" ceramic tile with a Braille border. Simplicity is good; it will be part of a mosaic with hundreds of other identically sized tiles, each illustrating compassion in some way. My tile can stand out or blend in. Ideas, readers?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm not feeling very inspired, but I did enjoy the quotes in this post!

1/06/2011 8:58 PM  
Blogger Royal Ranch said...

I recently saw a show where they used Michelangelo's touching fingers from the Sistine Chapel to represent the very first sign language and it turned out beautifully. I wonder if you could do something like that in the center of your tile. Beautiful ideas and quotes.

1/07/2011 6:15 AM  

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