Learn Auslan – Pronouns

Learn Auslan pronouns. In Auslan, pronouns are not gender-specific. Mostly, they involve pointing at a person or object.

Vocab:

  • Me (use this for ‘I’ as well)
  • My
  • Mine
  • You
  • Your
  • Yours
  • You’re
  • Here
  • There
  • That/he/she/it (I show three examples of pointing.)

When using these words in conversation, point to the person or thing. If the person or thing is not there, invent a location for them in space and make sure you continue to point to the same spot for the rest of the conversation.

You might notice that it can be pretty hard to understand sign language if you come in on a conversation in the middle. That’s because often a speaker will set up spaces and words at the beginning of a conversation, and then just do a lot of pointing to convey meaning after that.

This post is part of my free online Auslan course. See the rest of the course here.

To learn more about what it is really like to be Deaf, details about the Deaf community and how Auslan is used by Deaf people, read my book, Future Girl.

Learn Auslan – Communication

Here are some signs about communication:

Vocab:

  • Communicate/Conversation
  • Talk
  • Ask
  • Answer
  • Question
  • Say/tell
  • Agree

This post is part of my free online Auslan course. See the rest of the course here.

To learn more about what it is really like to be Deaf, details about the Deaf community and how Auslan is used by Deaf people, read my book, Future Girl.

Only one more week to see my exhibition, Love Lies and Indoctrination

My exhibition, Love, Lies and Indoctrination, is currently on at Lismore Regional Gallery (11 Rural St, Lismore) until this Sunday 21 November 2021. Only one more week to see it!

You can also see the exhibition online here.

*Auslan Interpreted
*Wheelchair accessible venue

About the Exhibition

An exploration of the strange customs of our society and the challenge of belonging, when we can’t or won’t follow those customs, perhaps due to feminist ideals, chronic illness, disability, queer identity, or just disagreeing with them.

It’s easy for us to assume that many social conventions are just the natural way of things, and yet when you look closely, many are quite bizarre. Are they healthy for us? Should we find another way to live? These are the questions Asphyxia’s artworks hope to provoke and explore through the unique lens of being Deaf, queer, chronically ill and needing to use a wheelchair.

All the artworks were created digitally on my iPad, while lying in bed. It’s amazing what you can do on an iPad these days – I made brushes that look amazingly real, just like oil paint. Printed onto enormous canvases, the quality is incredible. One of the great perks of working digitally is that the iPad captures a video of my process. Check out this video to see how I painted the artwork, Groomed To Accept A Life Of Corporate Slavery.

If you know anyone who might like to see this, please send them the link.

Learn Auslan – Deafness and sign language

Here are some signs about being deaf and using Auslan (Australian sign language):

There are some words and phrases here that aren’t commonly used in mainstream English.

People who aren’t deaf are referred to as ‘hearing’. Deaf people who don’t use sign language, communicating with speech and lipreading, are described as ‘oral’. I grew up oral and learnt to sign when I was eighteen – this is a common situation for Deaf people in Australia.

Fingerspelling refers to manually spelling out the letters of words. If you don’t know the sign for a word, fingerspell it. In Auslan, fingerspelling is commonly used for names and places. Some words, such as ‘cream’ are always fingerspelled, and the fingerspelled version becomes a sort of ‘sign’ for that word. There are some English words for which there is no equivalent Auslan sign. In this case, you could fingerspell the word, though more fluent signers will usually find a way to visually convey the meaning of the word using Auslan signs.

Lock your voice: since Auslan has its own grammar, trying to speak English while signing can be challenging, and also make your signs difficult to understand. It’s common in Auslan to refer to ‘turning off your voice’ or ‘locking your voice’ which means that you don’t speak – just sign. However, if you are speaking English with a group of hearing people, and there is a Deaf person present, it is polite to sign whatever words you can, even if it’s not using correct Auslan grammar, so that the Deaf person can get an idea of what you are talking about.

This post is part of my free online Auslan course. See the rest of the course here.

To learn more about what it is really like to be Deaf, details about the Deaf community and how Auslan is used by Deaf people, read my book, Future Girl.

Cook a meal with just a handful of twigs, using a rocket stove!

I made a rocket stove!

Thanks to YouTube I was able to learn about the fabulousness of rocket stoves.

What’s special about a rocket stove is that you can cook using an astonishingly small amount of fuel – not that many twigs are needed to boil water, for example. The reasons I wanted one are a) to reduce the use of gas and make use of the vast amount of wood hanging round on the property, and b) to cook outside in summer and not heat up the house.

The basic idea is that you have an L-shaped bit of stovepipe (or chamber) that’s about 10cm in diameter, and you put the fire in the foot of the L, and sit the pot on the top of the L. You need to make a little platform in the middle of the foot of the L so that the twigs can sit on it and there’s space underneath for the air to flow in, providing plenty of oxygen for a good flame. The stove pipe also needs to be insulated, preferably with something that will hold the heat nicely. I watched a few videos, but in the end the simplest one was this: How to Make a 16 Brick Rocket Stove. I had plenty of bricks lying around. The only bit that foiled me was that in order to make the foot of the L the right size, I need to have a half-thickness brick. No go. And I had no chance of cutting one. In the end I solved this by placing a few tiles I found in the bottom.

This stove took me about an hour to make, including finding the drawers to sit it on and shifting them into a nice shady spot opposite our front door, and tracking down the slab of marble which I laid on top in the hope that the drawers won’t catch on fire, and tempting the redback spiders out of the holes in the bricks. If you only count the time to actually make the stove, well that’d be about 10 minutes. I put a big white tile behind the stove in the hope of protecting the fence, put in some paper and twigs, sat our pot on top, lit the stove and snapped this pic.

The white tile became black. The pot became black. The drawers were covered in ash. BUT IT WORKED! I couldn’t believe that something so utterly simple could actually work so well. It got up a nice big flame quite quickly, was pretty easy to keep going, and after a few hours the bricks and ash were so hot I could boil water on it super-quick with only a low flame. We filled that huge pot with stock and boiled it all day.

Don’t forget to check out my exhibition, Love, Lies and Indoctrination

When I became bedbound in early 2020, I missed painting. I was in the middle of learning a new technique of painting with oils, and I was really excited about it. I channeled Frida Kahlo, and managed to figure out a set up that would allow me to paint in bed. While the set up was good, unfortunately I just didn’t have the energy to paint. By the time I’d set out my colours and mixed them, I was wrecked. For a time, I gave up and lay listless, watching while my girlfriend painted.

My friend Hoki reminded me that I could paint on the iPad, using Procreate. I had bought one – a good solution for painting in bed. But the problem was, I found it unsatisfying. I had various techniques I liked to use for real life paintings but I couldn’t replicate them on the iPad. The paint looked fake. It lacked the texture and depth that delighted me. Hoki was not to be put off. He challenged me about exactly what I wanted, and in the end, the two of us collaborated and created new brushes for Procreate that nailed exactly the effects I wanted, rich with texture. Using what I learnt from Hoki, I created myself a pair of brushes that replicated the oil painting style I had been working on learning, and to my delight, I was able to continue where I had left off when I became so ill.

I worked in tiny bursts whenever I could find the energy, visually pouring out my frustrations with my illness, and gradually expanding into a type of social commentary that reflected what was on my mind. The result was my exhibition, Love, Lies and Indoctrination.

It’s on at Lismore Regional Gallery (11 Rural St Lismore) until Sunday 21 November 2021, or you can view it online here.

*Auslan Interpreted
*Wheelchair accessible venue

About the Exhibition::


An exploration of the strange customs of our society and the challenge of belonging, when we can’t or won’t follow those customs, perhaps due to feminist ideals, chronic illness, disability, queer identity, or just disagreeing with them.
It’s easy for us to assume that many social conventions are just the natural way of things, and yet when you look closely, many are quite bizarre. Are they healthy for us? Should we find another way to live? These are the questions Asphyxia’s artworks hope to provoke and explore through the unique lens of being Deaf, queer, chronically ill and needing to use a wheelchair.

Learn Auslan – Transport

Kids love learning and using transport signs:

Vocab:

  • Walk
  • Run
  • Ride a bike
  • Car
  • Drive
  • Train
  • Tram
  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Plane/fly
  • Airport (sorry, the subtitle says ‘landing’. This sign is used for both ‘landing’ and ‘airport’)
  • Station

Other signs that kids often embrace are colours and foods – they are covered in other lessons. For our next lesson, though, we’ll get back to signs commonly used by adults.

I was a bit over-enthusiastic when signing some of these. While signing like this is not really ‘wrong’ and Deaf people will still understand you, it would be correct to sign ‘run’ with just two rotations of my arm, and ‘ride a bike’ should also be two cycles of pedaling with my fingers, and ‘car’ should be two rotations of my fists. ‘Bus’ should be two twists of the steering wheel. My apologies that these videos aren’t perfect – I hope they’ll still help you learn.

This post is part of my free online Auslan course. See the rest of the course here.

To learn more about what it is really like to be Deaf, details about the Deaf community and how Auslan is used by Deaf people, read my book, Future Girl.

My exhibition, Love, Lies and Indoctrination, opens at 5.30pm in Lismore. There are just a few tix left if you’d like to come. For those who are too far from Northern Rivers or not double vaxxed, you can see the exhibition online here.

Love, Lies and Indoctrination – exhibition opens today!

My art exhibition opens today!!

If you’re in Northern Rivers, Australia, come to the opening at Lismore Regional Gallery at 5.30pm today. It’s at 11 Rural St, Lismore, and is Auslan interpreted and wheelchair accessible.

Places are free but limited due to Covid so register your interest here. If you already registered but can’t come, please cancel to free your space for others.

If you can’t come in person, the exhibition is available online here. At the end, you’ll find a video about my process in creating the artworks, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom.

The exhibition is open until Sunday 21 November 2021.

About the Exhibition:

An exploration of the strange customs of our society and the challenge of belonging, when we can’t or won’t follow those customs, perhaps due to feminist ideals, chronic illness, disability, queer identity, or just disagreeing with them.

It’s easy for us to assume that many social conventions are just the natural way of things, and yet when you look closely, many are quite bizarre. Are they healthy for us? Should we find another way to live? These are the questions Asphyxia’s artworks hope to provoke and explore through the unique lens of being Deaf, queer, chronically ill and needing to use a wheelchair.

If you know anyone who might like to see this, please forward them the link.

Many thanks, and hope to see you there!

Learn Auslan – Animals

A great way to get children interested in signing is to teach them the signs for animals.

Vocab:

  • Cat
  • Dog (pat your thigh twice)
  • Rabbit
  • Bird/chicken
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Cow
  • Giraffe
  • Elephant
  • Lion
  • Monkey
  • Gorilla
  • Dinosaur

In the video I signed ‘prefer’ with several flicks. But really, it should be just two flicks.

This post is part of my free online Auslan course. See the rest of the course here.

To learn more about what it is really like to be Deaf, details about the Deaf community and how Auslan is used by Deaf people, read my book, Future Girl.