Photo exhibition celebrates the diversity of deaf people in the UK

Deaf Mosaic
(Image credit: Stephen Illiffe)

The Oxo Gallery in London, England, is hosting a Deaf Mosaic exhibition celebrating the diversity of the deaf community in the UK. Shot by deaf photographer Stephen Illiffe, Deaf Mosaic captures a colorful cross-section of deaf people from different backgrounds, races and religions.

In the first major showcase of its kind, Illiffe has taken over the Oxo Gallery until March 19. Shining a light on the important role that deaf people play in our community, Illiffe has shot more than 50 portraits in this extensive series including actors, athletes, nurses, teachers and artists – many of whom have experienced being treated differently or told that they couldn't live such full lives. 

• These are the best cheap cameras – affordable, older models that still take high-quality photos

Rubbena Aurangzeb Tariq  (Image credit: Stephen Illiffe)

According to GOV.UK more than 11 million people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing, and many of these people have faced discrimination or marginalization at some point in their life. Alongside each portrait, Stephen shares the story of his subjects, many of whom have demanding jobs that require strong leadership skills, grit and determination. 

People of all ages have been included in this powerful series, including seven-month-old Harriet. Photography series such as this will be an essential resource for deaf children, who will grow up knowing that the world is their oyster and that being deaf doesn't restrict you from enjoying a full, happy life in a wide range of careers. 

Asha Hylton (Image credit: Stephen Illiffe)

As a deaf person himself, Illiffe describes the project as an extremely emotional experience but one that is incredibly important. Not only does it highlight the incredible variety of roles that people in the deaf community play in our society, but it helps people better understand how important it is to make this community feel accepted, involved and seen. 

This project has been funded by the Art Council England and is supported by the National Deaf Children's Society, which provides impartial, practical and emotional support for families of deaf children. 

Deaf Mosaic is open from 10:00 - 18:00 daily at the Oxo Gallery and admission is free. Alternatively, follow Deaf Mosaic on Instagram and Facebook page to keep up with all the latest news, exhibitions and new work.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.