Jon Savage Contemporary Art

Community Light Signals

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“Community Light Signals”  (2015)

Poster, 12.5×18.5

This artwork serves as a metaphor. This artwork could have your own interpretation.

Here is the description of the artwork:

Red Light is STOP. ASL Sign “OPPRESSION” (as with all “isms”)

Yellow Light is CAUTION. ASL Sign “HELP”.

Green Light is GO. ASL Sign “SUPPORT”

The original artwork is sold.



Hi!  My name is Jon. Present recently is an artwork called, “Community Light Signals”.  It was created meant to be an artistic metaphoric interpretation.  In our Deaf community each light has its own meaning; first one represents oppression, the second one represents help and the third represents support.  At first glance as a traffic signal; red light is to stop, green light is to go, Correct? What about the yellow light? It does mean you should prepare to stop or keep going.  Pretty much straightforward what traffic light means.   Now let’s look closely at this traffic light metaphor in another way; we are looking at red light representing oppression and green light representing support.  The yellow light representing ‘help’ that conveys several meanings behind the word.  One concept is that an individual may need help but what kind of support does one need?  One example if someone wanted help and receives sympathy, it symbolizes oppression.  Other meaning of ‘help’ is when one believes in you and supports you with ‘you can do it’ attitude.  There’s a recurring trend in the Deaf community where members often express their frustration with feelings of being oppressed.  With this, one would need to figure out why this kind of frustration is happening and how bypass the oppression by resolving why it occurs in the first place.  Using the concept of yellow light either you get help to reduce the attitude of sympathy and find a way to bypass it to receive support to get to green light.  One would educate others to avoid oppression to achieve understanding and move on; just like in traffic, with dealing with red light wait by making a right turn legally.  I hope you enjoy this video that may be through-provoking to share your insights with others in the Deaf community with ideas to move forward.  Again, thank you for watching this Vlog. Cheers!