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Mansfield used a square canvas to paint insects symbolizing Deaf people, but did not get around to finishing this artwork when the pandemic shut everything down in March 2020.  At the same time, the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond was hosting Mansfield’s Voice of Deafhood  solo exhibition, which unfortunately only was open for one day before the pandemic.Mansfield felt inspired to start painting bugs of colors, sizes, and shapes that captured her visual attention and curiosity. Since the butterfly motif is the oldest genre in the De’VIA field, she wanted to explore other bugs. For example, ants are strong colony-builders, similar to Deaf people. Bees dance to communicate. Fireflies use their flashing tails to exchange information. Through thoughtful research into how insects communicate, Mansfield transformed these methods into metaphors of how the Deaf community communicates, and how she connects to this as a person and spiritually.


Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30, 3/21/2021. 

12 Insects in Unity

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