I felt isolated as a kid. I’ve always assumed that it was because of the profound hearing loss I developed as a result of continuous ear infections and subsequent surgeries. Not being able to hear made me feel left out—of the conversation, of the gossip, of the joke. To make sense of my silenced world, I tried to find ways to compensate while proving to myself that I belonged. Visual cues provided that bridge. Lip reading, body language, gestures, the clothes people wore and the objects with which they surrounded themselves were like pieces of a puzzle. I continue to rely on these cues to help make sense of the world from which I came and of which I am still a part.
While my state-of-the-art hearing aids capture sound, I still rely heavily on the visual world for clarification and direction. This body of work encompasses the various visual cues that, like totems, certify my sense of belonging. Whether it is a father and son walking together or people playing cards, I feel connected by these components, using them as signposts to point me in the direction of self in concert with the world in which I find myself.