When the Mind Hears

When the Mind Hears, 1993

This work is a multimedia installation combining photographic elements, sculpture and film to explore issues around the acquiring of language and the possibilities of communication. More directly, it stems from my own personal experience of becoming a mother whose daughter was born deaf. The film component of the installation is comprised of two 7 minute films: one is of a woman signing in American Sign Language the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" from Lewis Carroll's "Alice Through the Looking Glass." The other film is more steeped in memory, and depicts children running through a maze, swans swimming in a Plexiglass environment, and a child riding on an adult's back. The sculptural elements include three small shelves with objects and photographs mounted in a similar way to a child's dresser or family mantel piece. The twenty-nine black and white silver prints, of varying scale, are presented in diptychs and single images, and contain references to myself, my life and that of my daughter. Films are available on Vimeo and through the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

A catalogue titled When the Mind Hears to accompany this exhibition was published by VU PHOTO in 1994 with introductory texts by Gaƫtan Gosselin and Denis Lessard. (out of print)