Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday image

Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday
Dennyson Stoddart and Durham University Galleries
Palace Green Library, Durham, DH1 3RN
5 November 2016 – 26 February 2017

We are delighted to announce that Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday – the first exhibition to examine voice-hearing from different cultural, clinical, historical, literary and spiritual perspectives – opens at Palace Green Library on Saturday 5 November 2016.

Informed by Hearing the Voice research and containing material spanning seven centuries, the exhibition explores the divine voices heard by medieval mystics, the links between voice-hearing and literary creativity, and the inspirational stories of members of the international Hearing Voices Movement.

It also examines the distress felt by people who experience disturbing or disruptive voices, and explores the everyday contexts in which people hear voices, from imaginary friends in childhood to bereavement in old age.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Original artworks produced by young people (aged 14-24) from Bradford, Leeds and Durham who have personal experience of hearing voices.
  • The only surviving original manuscript of Julian of Norwich’s short text of Revelations of Divine Love (early 15th Century) on loan from the British Library for the first time. This is the first book in English known to have been authored by a woman. Julian of Norwich was an English anchoress and an important Christian mystic and theologian.
  • Virginia Woolf’s manuscripts for Mrs Dalloway and her autobiographical essay Sketch of the Past, also on loan from the British Library. Virginia Woolf is among the most famous writers to have heard voices.
  • The Isle is Full of Noises – A sound and animation installation by South African artist Victoria Hume about the experience of hearing voices.
  • Personal testimonies from voice-hearers across the world which help tell the story of the international Hearing Voices Movement, and the fight for an end to stigma and discrimination against people who hear voices.

To accompany the exhibition, Hearing the Voice has produced a dynamic programme of public lectures, discussion evenings, guided tours, film screenings and experiential audio performances that will take place in various locations across Durham city centre from November 2016 through to February 2017.

More information about the events programme, and instructions on how to book tickets, can be found here.

A dedicated website

Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday is supported by a dedicated website which contains images of the key displays, specially produced podcasts featuring interviews with Hearing the Voice researchers, and interactive presentations exploring voice-hearing and inner speech, the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying voices, and experiences of felt presence.

We warmly invite people to share these resources and information about the exhibition on social media using the hashtag #HearingVoicesDU.

Visitor information

The exhibition will open at Palace Green Library on Saturday 5 November 2016 and run until 26 February 2017. It will be open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, and Monday 12noon-5pm.

Entry to the exhibition and all associated events is free of charge.




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