Acrylic paint on watercolour paper, Suzette Clough 2015
In her book, Visual Medicine – the Art of the Unknown, Suzette Clough describes the experience of finding herself in a profound conversation with paint…and what she comes to call the spiritual creative practice of Visual Medicine:
Trying to Explain the Unexplainable
When we allow a space for Spirit to speak it has a particular voice. It usually speaks in an abstract way – it is often not even symbolic – and it resides in association, in memory, in sounds before words, in feelings in our body. You hear it in bells, in the timbre of voices, and the breath of the wind. You see it in trees and clouds, in rocks and shadows, in grains of sand and ocean waves. You see it in the patterns of the cosmos giving birth to itself and the fluid aliveness of every atom, neuron and cell. This energy wants to converse with us. It speaks in the language of the right brain, sometimes bubbling up in dreams and smells and tangential thoughts on the tip of your tongue. It is both material and intangible. It often moves through us in a kind of hidden-ness through our lives, tracking us over years, from our first moments of interest and passion in the world.
It calls us to activities that are seemingly unrelated but threaded together by often invisible links of substratum interest and curiosity. It almost never confronts head on, choosing the back door to enter our consciousness. It is attracting, magnetic, and needs an invitational space to be born into so it can be apprehended and experienced. The voice of Spirit often works over long periods of time. It does not arise on demand but appears through the cyclical timing of our psyche, an appreciation of seemingly random events, and by developing and maintaining a practice of awareness, an open space for vision and deep listening.