Sign language

Four deaf poets are performing sign language poems at a festival in Bristol Feb 4th. They are: top, L to R, Donna Williams and Paul Scott, and bottom L to R, Richard Carter and John Wilson


Photographing signers, someone using a sign language, in that context, is nuanced with attention to what the signs mean.

In this case, I had photographed Donna Williams and Paul Scott, Richard Carter and John Wilson in Bristol, and combined the images into one, and then a larger and more complicated design, for the Signing Hands Across the Water festival.


Here I’ve added the UK sign language poets on the right hand side (the UK) to an existing shot of Flying Words (USA) and Debbie Rennie (Sweden) on the left hand side. The hand shapes are carefully chosen in a balletic way, for beauty as well as meaning.

Donna Williams says this about the photographs of herself:

“I like the way you captured moments in time from my poems that look cool (as often it’s hard to get pics of signing without weird facial expressions caught mid-change) and the lighting / mood looks really good. Black and white really lifts them. I even look good (and I usually don’t like pictures of myself)”.