'Representing the DeafBlind Community in Victoria'

Posts tagged ‘art’

Deafblind Awareness Week 2021

Deafblind Awareness Week is held each year around Helen Keller’s birthday (June 27). This year the dates are June 21 to June 27. DBV has planned a number of activities to celebrate.

DBV craft group members showing their crocheted squares
  1. Yarn bombing. DBV members have been meeting every fortnight to crochet, knit and make pom poms for a tactile art project that symbolises the coming together of the Deafblind community. From 23 June in Flinders Lane, outside from the DBV office, two trees and other objects will be wrapped with the colorful creations made by the group. This is part of an international event to raise Deafblind Awareness.

  2. An exhibition of photo portraits of Deafblind Victorians from June 27 to Aug 3, at the Capsule art space in Cambell Arcade, the pedestrian underpass that connects Flinders Street station and Degraves st. The photographer is Jessica Leane, and subjects include Gina Pontelandolfo, Joe Monteleone, Paola Avila, Heather Lawson and Trudy Ryall. The photos show something that each individual has achieved.

  3. A celebration for DBV members on Wed 23 June at Ross House. RSVP is essential due to Covid restrictions – limits apply. Members will enjoy pizza, cake, a tour of the yarn bombing installation and a preview of the photo exhibition.

  4. A Deafblind World workshop for Auslan students at Melbourne Polytechnic will take place on Monday 21 June.

  5. Videos from members posted on the DBV Facebook page throughout the week to promote visibility and show the diversity of the wonderful Deafblind people in our community.

  6. Deafblind awareness T-shirt fundraiser – click here for a video in Auslan with a voiceover and transcript

International day of People with Disability – Dec 3

December 3 is the United Nations’ International Day for People with Disability (IDPwD), a day to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. To celebrate IDPwD, the ABC has a wonderful project to tell stories by and about people with disability across ABC Online, Radio, TV and iView.

One of the stories told was about DBV’s Joe Monteleone. Here is a short video produced for social media where Joe signs in Auslan and shows his art (transcript below):

Hi my name is Joe. I’m a husband and I’m a father of two. I’m currently a student as a visual artist. I’m doing a diploma and I’m a fourth-year student. I particularly love print making and lino cuts.

I’m deaf and I have Usher syndrome type 1. That means I see a really tiny space in front of me, like a tunnel, and all around that tunnel is black. So during the day, I have tunnel vision and I can only see pinpricks when I’m getting around, but at nighttime I don’t have any vision at all.

From my experience I’ve developed a dream that people in the community can become more aware about people who are deafblind. Please don’t see us as people who are limited and who face many barriers. You know, I’ve been successful enough to complete the kokoda trail and the trek. And many people over the years have always told me that I can’t. I can’t complete things. I can’t do this, I can’t do that. But you know what? I’m really determined to overcome all those barriers that I face, and I really don’t like people saying “no, that’s not possible”. Deafblind people can achieve whatever they want.

DBV member Gina’s story about macramé and crafts

I’m Gina and I have Usher Syndrome. Now my eyesight is getting worse, things look foggy. I had an operation two years ago but my eyes have changed. It’s sad. However, my hobby for many years has been doing craft – macramé, mosaic, knitting, crochet, etc. I love making different things with my hands and learning new skills. I am always getting ideas for things to make. I can’t stop! At the moment I’m doing macramé – it’s a beautiful craft of knotted cords or ropes in patterns. While some people are sitting patiently at home because Covid lockdown, I’ve been adding crafty things all around the house. Now there’s so many everywhere! Ha-ha.

With macramé you can use one colour or two and weave them together into a pattern. Different thickness of cord will make a different style. Cords can be made from cotton, yarn, or wool – there are lots of varieties. I find very thick cotton cord is too heavy. There is a video and photos of my macramé below. You can try it for yourself and have something beautiful to touch and hang on a wall.

Gina signs in Auslan about her crafts and shows her macramé