Enough is Enough with Ear Molds

This painting is from the Dyer Art Galley in NTID Lyndon B. Johnson building and is apart of the galley’s Nightmares collection. The paragraph below is what is associated with the group of paintings from this section of the gallery.

Many deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults struggle with language deprivation and communication access. This body of work explores the daily waking nightmares that deaf and hard-of-hearing people experience or have experienced at one point or another in their lives. Some of the basic challenges that deaf and hard-of-hearing people face include being prohibited from signing, being forced to concentrate on lip-reading, and being denied education or jobs. Mansfield paints these challenges; some are personal experiences that began at 12 years old, while others are documentation of experiences undergone by her family or friends. Mansfield uses dark colors, harlequin patterns, carousel themes, and certain motifs to represent barriers.

When I heard that we had to go to a museum or gallery, I knew I wanted to go to the Dyer Art Gallery since its filled with artwork related to the deaf world and by deaf artist. While I was walking around this part of the gallery I stopped at this painting at first was a little confused but when I read the title of this piece of work, it all made sense. For people who aren’t sure what is happening here will not understand what the pink socking thing is, I will explain. People who wear hearing aids have to get some form of molds for their hearing aids and the process of getting on is what is shown in this painting. The pink stuff is the stuff the Audiologist sends to the company to make the ear mold and the that is a string that is placed inside to help pull out the mold once placed in your ear. Some Audiologist use a small cotton ball which the string is tied to and then they put in that pink stuff, when the material is done use the string to pull it out of the ear.

I laughed at the when I saw that the strings we wrapping around the person in the painting because we have so many ear molds that we have to get since our ears change and grows, so you need a new one once you start having non-stop feed back from the hearing aids. I’ve had my fair share of ear molds growing up, and for the first 8 years I had to do it twice one for each ear. People never really understand what Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals have to go through to get the same treatment as a hearing person. There are a lot of money that is spent on getting ear molds and we do it because we need it to get through our lives if we want a job or to get our education.

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