Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Story of Double D: How I Deal with Disability

I’m Double D, but it’s not what you might think. The D’s stand for dyslexic and diabetic. My mom came up with it to lighten the mood at the hospital in 2006.
Angelina-Mazzanti-FacebookI’ve been creating art for as long as I can remember. You could say my mom was my first art teacher and the motivating force behind the artist I have become. She was very crafty, always encouraging me to try my very best.
When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with my first “D” – dyslexia. Every day and every subject in school was a constant struggle for me. Art helped me release myself. It was never a struggle, but rather a challenge, which allowed me to explore and understand my disability and made living with it more bearable.
During high school, I was diagnosed with my second “D” – diabetic. After I was released from the hospital with Type 1 diabetes, my vision remained blurry for several weeks. My other senses heightened. My outlook on life and the world around me changed. I saw my art through a new light. Photography became my new passion.
College has probably played the most important part in me being an artist. I love capturing photos in black and white, using Photoshop and aperture to edit my photos. Once again, art as a main subject gave me a lot relief from the other subjects that dealt with pure memorization and arithmetic.
My life is not without hardship and struggle. It’s my job to use my disabilities and what they bring to my life in a positive way. My diabetes has taught me to be more responsible, while my dyslexia help me to see pictures and not words.
My sculpture reflects my imagination, the effort I put into a piece and the potential in creating beautiful pieces.
All Jumbled Up
Having dyslexia is something I dealt with for most of my life. School has always been a struggle for me. Through the years the order of letters and words have always appeared rearranged in my brain. Today I still have trouble organizing words and emphasizing syllables in sentences and paragraphs. This continues to make reading very difficult, but art has become my vehicle for reprieve ad escape from these challenges. This body of work reflects different aspects of my dyslexia and expresses to the viewer how I perceive things when I read and write.
The intent of my installation is to give the viewer an environment in which to relay my overwhelming frustration with reading. I want to invite the viewer to share the same emotions I have dealing with dyslexia. The viewer is confronted with my frustration through a debris field of ripped books and jumbled up letters that reflect the chaos in my mind when reading.
Throughout my show, I use the common association of light with intelligence to show intellect. The light also reflects the determination I have created within myself to cope and deal with my disability. The use of books and text are the most common thing many dyslexics have difficulty comprehending. Letters are used instead of words in many of the works. The viewer is not supposed to make sense of the letters but to see the pieces as a whole.
Dyslexia never goes away. It’s something I have learned to cope with. It is something that I work on everyday. Dyslexia is not a physical disability and you would never know I had it if you meet me. It is something many people have and don’t know they have, but each one deals with it in a different way. Making art is my way.
So, now I can add a new “D” to my nick name. It stands for determined. I am determined to succeed in life! Success creates more motivation. My artistic journey has just begun!
– Angelina Mazzanti
SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNGAngelina’s artwork is currently on display at the Charleston Art Center in Charleston, Miss. The exhibit is open from May 30 through June 13, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. Learn more about Angelia Here, or on Facebook Here.