This book is about voices and finding the courage to listen
Voices have been calling to me all my life.
Voices of nature; of all things alive, born, aging and dying.
Voices of human nature; of other people, of unexpressed emotions, unspoken words, unwanted thoughts.
Voices of my inner nature; of everything that lives within me and through me. The unpredictable spectrum of all that I experience by being alive.
About the book: In contemporary Western culture someone who hears voices is labelled psychotic. However in other parts of the world today and throughout mankind’s history, voice hearers are valued as people sensitive enough to be able to read the essential undercurrents of their societies. In this unique collaboration voice hearer Elisabeth Svanholmer and artist Douglas Ross explore the voice hearing experience in words and images.
A collaborative journey
I came across Douglas Ross in 2011 when I attended a conference in Cork. I felt drawn to his artwork particularly because of the often mythological and archetypical nature as well as his use of the naked human body as a motif.
In 2016 I reached out to Douglas to ask if he would be interested in working together to create images to capture and communicate some of my experiences. And he was – which was amazing!
Over a 4 year period we met both online and face to face to talk through what we wanted to create and how and we ended up doing several photoshoots.
We have worked collaboratively exploring the voice hearing experience and altered states of mind. We found themes that felt relevant as common human experiences such as distress, overwhelm, grief, hope, wonder and playfulness. We tried to find the spaces where the personal would intersect with the collective.
In 2021 we created the video below. We created it using a poem and images from the book.