Deaf Artists

Supporting Deaf Art and Culture

Welcome to the Mad Brothers and the Deaf Village Café. If you look around our Café you will see art that represents Deaf culture and this information leaflet will give you some background on the artists and the artwork.

You will also see touch screens, 4 small ones in the Café and a large one outside in the DVI reception area. These touchscreens are for you and you can learn how to sign words related to your Café experience with us. You are very welcome and please, learn about Deaf culture and spread the word!

DVI will continue to support Deaf artists. If you are a Deaf artist we would like to talk to you about submissions for future exhibitions. Email us at [email protected].

Jaima Gago

Johnny Corcoran

Mural “Silent Roots”
by Artist Jaima Gago

About Jaima

Jaima Gago is a Dublin-based Deaf visual communicator, designer and self-taught artist. She has the privilege of having a trio of cultures, Afro-Irish-Deaf. She is a BA graduate from Technology University of Dublin and currently works freelance. Jaima’s designs are often
inspired by her love of language and culture and her interests lean towards typography, image making, visual identities and editorial across print and screen mediums.

She is particularly enthused by experimental typography, customising lettering, narrating motion, editing and exploring mediums to communicate a tone and message. Her work focuses on people’s daily lives, culture, and everyday experiences. Jaima’s approach to drawing is delicate and detailed, inspired by her interest in the Renaissance period. Her drawings express her personal narrative and observation of the world where her strongly felt, philosophical commitment to Deaf culture and African culture is expressed in her artwork.

About the mural

“Silent Roots”

My concept embraces the power of Deaf culture stemming right through from the historical period of the Milan Conference in 1880 to Deaf empowerment in more recent times. An unlawful system of oral education over-shadowing the actual education of the students and thereupon banning sign language in schools for the Deaf. This means the Deaf schools were forced to teach through the oral method.

The effects brought upon Deaf people because of this system are, of course, viewed negatively. However, I do not look at this time in history in a solely negative way, rather I feel the strength and spark of power that it lit within d/Deaf people has led to the protection of our language. And from that, it has benefited the d/Deaf to form the Irish society, cultures and languages we see today.

This aspect has inspired me to communicate hidden history that might be unknown to many. My mural starts by metaphorically acknowledging the dark negative history with the roots, represented in the hand forming and grabbing another hand signing D in Irish Sign Language (this represents a Deaf hand). From there it moves to the positivity with the hand direction shifting upwards and the growth of the branches forming different elements of a butterfly in a Celtic style, embodying both Irish and Deaf culture. The hands go on to form two faces and an eye depicting the Irish Deaf Culture in a disguising manner. I wanted the image to be elusive to create an immersive experience for the audience, showcasing how Deaf people face barriers every day of their lives.

Nonetheless, when we are provided with access the world is opened to us in every aspect of life. Through the image, I aim to deliver a message of understanding and how access is vital within Deaf Culture. To be able to appreciate the deeper meaning of the image, the viewer must pay attention to the detail, once they do so, the meaning becomes apparent. When we, as a community, are provided with access, we too can pay attention and gain all the deeper meaning of life.

Charcoal Drawings “Signing in Full Bloom” and “Signs of the Soul”
by Artist Johnny Corcoran

About Johnny Corcoran

Johnny Corcoran is an artist and photographer from County Meath, Ireland, specializing in charcoal art. He focuses on creating highly emotional drawings using this medium. With years of experience in the visual arts, Johnny skilfully uses light and shadow to bring an
atmospheric quality to his artwork. His drawings are filled with nostalgic and unique imagery, creating a captivating world in shades of black and white.

Johnny’s main aim is to express deep feelings that words cannot fully describe and to establish a connection with viewers. He particularly emphasizes capturing intense emotions in the subjects’ eyes, which he believes reveal the soul.

Johnny Corcoran is a talented charcoal artist who invites you to experience the beauty and emotional depth of his work.

About charcoal drawing

“Signing in Full Bloom”

“Signing in Full Bloom” is an artwork done in charcoal featuring a girl using sign language.

Behind her hands and arms flowers blossom, symbolizing the growth and freedom sign language provides. This artwork celebrates how sign language is expressive and
transformative in nature, allowing people to communicate their thoughts, emotions, and desires with grace and clarity. The artist has used charcoal strokes to capture the joy and positive impact of signing. “Signing in Full” is a reminder of the beauty and empowering effect of sign language, inspiring us to embrace the power of expression.

About charcoal drawing

“Signs of the Soul”

“Signs of the Soul” is an imaginative artwork that depicts the connection between the eyes and hands in sign language. This beautiful piece showcases how the eyes reflect the depth of our souls, while the hands communicate with grace and meaning.

It celebrates the power of sign language as a form of expression, overcoming barriers and allowing individuals to communicate their thoughts and emotions.