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Deaf young people exhibit work in Belfast gallery

Published Date: 12 Jul 2016

Northern Ireland’s deaf young authors and artists will exhibit their work at the Arts & Disability Forum Gallery on Belfast's Royal Avenue from 19-29 July after winning a national competition.

140 deaf children and young people entered our annual NI arts competition this year, using the theme ‘Monsters and Magic’ to design imaginary creatures. 25 winners and 16 highly commended entrants will unveil their works at the exhibition next week.

Founded in the 1980s by beloved deaf Belfast Telegraph journalist Bob McCullough who recently passed away, the contest gives deaf children and young people a platform for self-expression and proves they can do anything their hearing friends can.

Heather Gray, our Director in Northern Ireland, said: “We aim to create a world without barriers for every deaf child, and having access to such creativity and culture is extremely important for young people. This competition brings together deaf children and young people from across Northern Ireland to share their experiences and showcase their talents.

"Some entrants are in mainstream schools where they are the only deaf child, which can be extremely isolating, so this is a vital confidence boost for them. We are proud of this exhibition and hope it will encourage all deaf children and young people to get involved in the arts, perhaps taking inspiration from the very talented deaf children and young people whose work is on display.”

Local artist and competition judge Helouise O’Reilly added: “It was an absolute pleasure to judge the children’s work, and very challenging as the standard of work was so high. The children’s imagination really shone through with such a degree of talent and I hope to see more from these young author’s and artists in the future.”

First, second and third prizes were awarded within three age brackets (4-7, 8-11 and 12-18) and the superb quality of work this year meant the charity also nominated highly commended pieces, including work from deaf children with additional complex needs.  Many of the children used recycled materials to create 3D artwork.