Arts Derbyshire


Ground-breaking new exhibition at Derby Gallery says ‘Deaf people can do anything’.

A major new photography exhibition at Derby’s Artcore Gallery will be open from Friday 4 October to Saturday 2 November 2024 and will highlight the achievements of deaf people. 

In a historic first-ever exhibition about the deaf community to be hosted in Derby, Deaf Mosaic will feature intimate portraits and stories of deaf people from a wide range of backgrounds – TV chef to actress, NHS nurse to postman, kick-boxer to musician. The message is ‘with the right support, deaf people can do anything’. 

 Deaf Mosaic is by photographer Stephen Iliffe, who is deaf himself and from the East Midlands.

There are 90,000+ Deaf people in the UK who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first or preferred language. BSL is the UK’s fourth indigenous language – after English, Welsh and Scots Gaelic.

The Deaf community has existed for over 200 years. Yet deaf people are still virtually unrepresented in the mainstream canon of photography – galleries, journals, books. Stephen’sDeaf Mosaic project is changing this.

“I was the only deaf kid in a mainstream school,” says Stephen. “I had no adult deaf role models for what I could achieve in life. It wasn’t until my 20s that I stumbled across the deaf community. It was as if a light had been switched on in a dark room. Overnight, my deafness went from being a negative to a positive. Finally, I began to understand that it isn’t deafness itself that disables people but the barriers in society that often prevent us achieving our dreams.”

 “There are now so many practical ways to create access for deaf people – from sign language interpreters to technological aids, from TV and video captions to inclusive classrooms and workplaces. Deaf Mosaic affirms that with the right support, deaf people can achieve anything.”

Submit your news to Arts Derbyshire

Submit your news items to or fill out this news submission form.

You can also register as a member to list your arts business and events in our directory.


Related news posts

Sign up to our newsletter

Find out what’s on with the Arts Derbyshire newsletter.

Artists, creatives, cultural providers, arts and health specialists – Sign up for one of our professional mailing lists.