The two branches that form the body of the work twist together but never meet, never touch… intertwined but unable to ever make a meaningful connection that bridges difference to find common ground and purpose. Naturally dyed threads, using indigo and sappanwood, hang from the branches. Blues and reds hint at team strips or party affiliations, battle lines drawn…
‘Dialogue of the Deaf’ wasn’t a phrase I had heard of when Ross created this piece earlier in the year. Now it is all over the air waves, with it being mentioned a couple of weeks ago in relation the the Irish border on the Today program, and indeed today by Fiona Bruce with reference to the level of debate:
‘Brexit can tend to be a dialogue of the deaf. On Question Time I’ve noticed great anger from the audience. When we discuss Brexit, emotions range from white-hot fury to cold, grey apathy. As soon as we move off Brexit, debate is much more nuanced and considered.’ Fiona Bruce.
The underlying concept of this piece, miscommunication and misunderstanding, can easily be related to modern society. The lack of understanding between generations, the relationship between the English and the Scots (or the Welsh, or the Irish), family feuds, Leavers vs Remainers; the disappointing truth of all these type of rivalries is that without open conversation and active listening, there can be no progression or reconciliation.
‘Dialogue of the Deaf’ was first exhibited along with ‘Belief’ at the Prism show ‘Fragility’ at the RBSA in Birmingham from the 8th – 19th of October, 2019.