The Isle is Full of Noises

by Victoria Hume

The Isle is Full of Noises is a sound and animation installation that explores what it is like to hear voices. It is largely based on a workshop held in summer 2016 in Durham with people who hear voices. The workshop reinforced the need to challenge widespread prejudice about voice-hearing, and to assert that not only is this a normal phenomenon, but that ‘we are people, that have lots of other things going on; voice-hearing is just a tiny part of that’.

Victoria Hume says of her work:

I am interested in what all kinds of ‘unreal’ experiences, perhaps resulting from what might be called involuntary creativity, can tell us about ourselves and the world when they are taken seriously by their own logic – in the same way that one might take a work of art seriously – rather than understood as aberrant, nonsensical, and beyond comprehension.

The piece uses audio clips and drawings from the workshop, as well as original artwork, music and collected sounds. The animation was developed in collaboration with Shannan Taylor, Judy Christian, and Tamsyn Adams.

Sincere thanks go to all those who have allowed the use of their words, voices, and drawings. Additional thanks for the use of spoken excerpts from the poem ‘Gentle Mother’ by Peter Burgess; field recordings of birds and the ‘hopebird’ textile; to Refiloe Lepere and Rai Waddingham for their invaluable advice and guidance before the workshop; to Chris Letcher for his mixing skills and encouragement; and to Ruby Hamill for the use of her water-pipe recording.

Other excerpts come from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and ‘If ever the lid’ by Emily Dickinson.

The Isle is Full of Noises was commissioned by Hearing the Voice, Durham University.

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