Soozie’s Ear Journey

I grew up with 3 big sisters, Mum and Dad, and no with hearing loss in any of the family, right back to  great grandparents.

During my years at school I was placed in a lot of remedial classes. Left on the bench at netball.  No one, even me, realized I had a hearing problem.

Never have mastered 2 wheels.

First hearing aid

At 17 I went to college and could not hear the lecturers. Diagnosed with a hearing loss, I received one hearing aid for my right ear.

Not impressed with the hearing aid or the sound it produced, I had just turned 18 years old. Years of hearing loss led to no big groups of friends.

Art school years

Edinburgh College of Art from 1991-95

BA Hons degree in Jewellery and photography, by the skin of my teeth.

These were very hard years.

Second hearing aid at 21 years old (1992).

Black dog was with me for many years.

These 4 photographs have words on my head which where under the word deaf in the Thesaurus:

unmoved; unconcerned; oblivious; indifferent.

The only way I could get across how I felt

Hand taken, processed and printed by myself. These are hand printed using Japanese paper to print the photograph through.

In between years H.A to C.I

25 – 39 years old

Moved to Innellan – 1997

Married John – 1999

Got my C.I  – 2010

Kept a blog about my C.I journey – Soozie Q’s hearing blues

 I didn’t have anyone to talk to. In between years were hard but it was ok, just the two of us and the dogs at the time, a collie and an Alsation.

Newlywed and happy in our bubble. All the while making jewelry and art. Hearing got to the point HA didn’t do anything.  I missed people.

Life after C.I – an Exhibition – Cornflakes are Noisy.

This was a show about getting my C.I.    I was lucky to be given space to do what I please for 3 weeks. No funding, self done.  2011 at the Dunoon Burgh Hall, Argyll. This is what I produced.

Wind in the trees

What is that noise!?

Laughter at plugholes and rain on the van roof.

Gold hearing aid moulds. Prone to infection but always too big, as they add it on top. Mini sculptures.

Speech balls, it’s how folk sounded to me, hard to describe and my wee birds. I love the birds!

Whirlwind of noise and tall trees in the wind.

The walls from the show.

People didn’t like these, found them to hard to look at.

• The show was a success and I even met the guy who pioneered the first C.I’s in Scotland, Doctor Singh. He had a holiday home in Kilmun and an artist friend was his neighbour. He told him he had to come and see. I cried a lot when I met him!

• It was great to be able to show my joy of being catapulted from black n white into colour to people

My girl (Ody) who kept me safe for many deaf years. She passed away a year after I got my C.I. 

My other half. He married a deaf girl who got hearing 10 years on…He is hearing. Been married 24 years.

Tinnitus show.

Exploration of the sounds within my head, 2018. T has been with me for many, many years.  Mostly a white show as ‘T’ is invisible and no one sees your noises in your head. The show ran for 3 weeks and I had a lot of lovely feedback. I had some people sent by the local doctor,  realising that this is what they have. They are not going mad, they have ‘T’. These people brought their family members to hear how it is for them.
I had a week residency at Cove Park, artists retreat, to explore on my own without distraction. Thanks to Creative Scotland and Dunoon Burgh Hall.

‘T’ split into high, middle and low tones.

Ceramic pieces made with Moira’s help. I burnished them for many hours.

3 embossed wall pieces where with the help of Shirley Rodgers (fine art printmaker) and some recycled stage flooring  (like lino)

When you entered the room it triggered each piece to emit my tinnitus tones to the public. It was, it is, loud, luckily it went off after leaving the room. Its 24/7 for me.

Close up of middle tones in my head, as made on ceramic vessels.

Tones in my head.

Each piece has headphones with the sound written about, but with my tinnitus over the top of it. Quite disturbing I do say!

My ‘T’ moves and makes sound like this.

Trying to hear through my ‘T’

Object’s, light, shadow, what, where, out of focus, moving,  resonating.

Photos taken by me at Cove Park with the spring morning sun on the walls 

‘T’ in my head splits me open and curls my toes ‘n’ fingers. 

Expressed in hand made ceramic models.

Nearly forgot I was in a film called We are Northern Lights, in 2011. I did a wee day film workshop and this was the outcome of that. Bit of a surprise! It’s a great film. I think you can find it online to watch. This is my electric trike that I got in 2019 and our wee dog Max. Love my electric trike( and Max!) the freedom is wonderful. 

Thank you for your interest in my art about my hearing.

Me in the garden beside the green house and my giant bottle gourds!

Me in my workshop. Susan M Turmeau Jewellery.