"John Oliver's work is truly exceptional. First he created a unique ‘contemplative’ space which allowed me to speak from a great depth inside. But nothing prepared me for the quality of how he subsequently worked with the content and visual edit. This is simply remarkable work, of the very highest order.”
Co-founder Matrix Development, author of Leader as Healer, Business Book of the Year 2023
"This is about exploration and saying something you didn't quite know you knew. There's something really true at some kind of essence level there about this interaction between us and the seeking to witness. It's like, oh, I see you.
And the gift of seeing somebody, which is both, all the way about you and also all the way about them, and also all the way about the two of you together, it's like 300%.
It's whole, because the quest is whole."
"What a gift to be able to do this.
I find this experience incredibly, precious. It's the clearest experience I have of being enough. Being enough in not a “full-of-myself” kind of way, but being enough in the midst of everything that changes inside me, outside me. It's like being a cork floating on a river. Nothing can happen to the cork, cannot be hurt. It cannot be submerged. It cannot be shattered. It was awesome for me. It was really fabulous.
It allowed me to pay tribute to my Dad at a very significant time without having planned, and talk about a couple of things that really matter to me, so thank you.
It was phenomenal."
"From my personal experience, being invited by John to meditate with him in a supportive and still space was profound and powerful and one that literal ‘moves’ energy from the interior to give voice to beauty, wisdom and truth."
"Catapulting the tradition of grand portraiture into the 21st century, John Oliver’s method allowed my stories to flow unhindered, and his inspired editing resulted in a masterpiece of mystic storytelling.
I’ve received great feedback such as how viewers are very impressed about the calmness in your voice and stating the truth, the very truth…and a request for a sequel!"
" I felt a real ease sitting with John in silence. His camera rolling at the side and the space in which to just be present, with no expectations. His subsequent edited piece was like a portal into my soul, profoundly moving and gently exposing aspects of my journey I generally keep quite hidden - especially to new acquaintances! Rewatching it has introduced me to parts of myself and allowed me a deep recognition of how far I’ve come in the last few years on my health journey.
A real gift, thank you John"
"I found it so refreshing to be held in an energy of complete opportunity and wide-open space—a medicine sorely needed these days.
To allow something larger to come through is the greatest gift and doorway of a conversation. And it is a true testament to the process of 'witness filming' to offer an invitation for an honest and vulnerable becoming."
"I was not prepared at all for the depth of result...it takes somebody who is interested and cares about what you have to say, yet has a fresh perspective. I so appreciate this.
It was like a lightbulb going on, to have my thoughts captured and curated through the editing. Fabulous experience, I'd recommend this to anyone.
It's a gift."
"Now I understand the need for silence...silence isn't not doing anything, it's not saying anything.
Yet from the silence the real is revealed, the reasoning and source behind our work.
It is moments like this that touch our ultimate truths."
"I feel deeply seen, perceived and valued. Suddenly there is space for reflection on my inner processes. The intentional conscious vision, coupled with love and trust, that the highest possible potential can be fulfilled through my pious alignment for the benefit of all, further empowers me. I experienced myself in the video not as me, the I-personality, but as a being that communicates information to me that fills me with great joy.
I am full of gratitude and love and have great respect for your work!."
"Moments for internal dialogue are rare. There is no cheating because the intimacy reveal's one's truth. The simple fact of John's presence helps finds the thread and coherence of one's invisible, personal mess. It reminds me of the alchemist, who purifies and purifies until you find your quintessence - one's trembling, smiling and strong substance that is only accessed in intimacy and confidence."
"It's a unique experience to be interviewed about your passion and far more unique to be interviewed without a single question being asked in the process.
I found John's adopted interview and filming technique a fantastic way to break into the artists inner thoughts of what they do and what drives them to do it. While somewhat daunting as an interviewee it is truly honest and I think, a rewarding process to have been involved with.
To have no barriers, no preconceived opinions, no questions frees us from being on the backfoot and allows flow of conscious thought - there can be no doubt that it is as true a representation of the artist as can be had."
"Being witnessed, and filmed by John, was a unique and extraordinary experience for me. It was early in the lockdown, and we did it via Zoom, so at first glance it doesn't seem to promise much. And yet it was one of the most wonderful things I have ever done. During it, I realised that despite having spent over half a century on this planet, I had never before devoted this kind of attention to another human being, nor had it devoted to me. I said nothing in the time we were gazing at each other and yet there was so much going on. All of life was there with me, within my grasp; or so it felt. It was like waking up, having been asleep for decades. It was moving, entertaining, confusing, delightful and above all, completely alive.
Watching the edit back was also fascinating. With my film the music John had chosen was a very striking choice - at points it looked as if I were conducting an orchestra with my eyes. I found that through watching the film, the experience - the sensations, images and even the feelings came back to me. I have watched it back a number of times since we did it and each time I see something new."
"Wonderful to have such a unique experience of presence with John to immerse into something deeper and more vulnerable
- very grateful’"
"Being witnessed is a rare gift John offers generously. The whole experience carries the magic of simple and profound things. In silence and from silence a thread of connection emerges.
A connection with our own art, a connection to self-expression, a connection with others. John is a master curator and gentle witness of artful expression and connection. Forever grateful to have been hold in a sacred place of witnessing silence."
"The free form of interviewing allowed me to skip the obligatory interview questions and target other themes, opening ways to explore new trains of thought.
I loved the post-production interaction when John showed himself extremely apt in adjusting the video to both our visions. A great experience and end result.
Stoked with the whole process!"
Peter Vander Auwera
"The silence witnessing approach is refreshing. John creates a virtual space for permission. Permission to be silent, to open-up, to reflect, to adjust, to pause, to dream, and to imagine. He skilfully listens and watches in silence, trying to discern the different stories interwoven in the recording, picking one, and editing it in a high-quality video testimony that respects the integrity of the moment. I think it is good for any artist/creative to have a witnessing moment like this, to discover and articulate better what is driving the artistic process. Bravo!"
"Witnessing with John is a profound, multi-layered experience. I'm not quite sure where it begins and ends.
The witnessing itself was intimate, deep, and spacious. Time and space expanded. Throughout it was beautiful to be mirrored and witnessed by John with such grace and ease.
But the experience didn't end there. Then watching the edited film was another dimension to it. Seeing myself, witnessing myself, in that way, brought up new and unexpected insights about who I am and what's true for me. Overall, it was a beautiful experience that keeps reverberating in my consciousness."
"The filming was easy, but when I saw myself I did not recognise myself. The witnessing process opened up the density of my thoughts, and the silence nurtured my self-dialogue.
The post-production editing has sequenced the footage in an simpler way and emphasised the key facets of my story.
My impression at the end of the process was of a higher clarity in my stream of thoughts, which supported my next steps in life.
This externalisation of thinking allows you to mirror yourself and give perspective."
With innovation learning community yellowlearning.com (via Zoom)
"The group witnessing that we experimented with in Yellow surpassed any kind of expectation any of us might have had. The group has grown close over the last six months of meeting, which explains some of it, but nonetheless the witnessing processed catapulted us into a new way of being together - that was incredibly connective and tender.
For me, having been witnessed just by John I was struck by how deep and subtle it was to be part of a group witnessing someone else.
We did two different people and each session was wildly different and yet equally profound. It is something we will continue to work with and explore. It feels to me that the possibilities here, whilst very difficult to describe or make sense of in words, are legion."
"John is a very unique individual, his study is fascinating and the process of experiencing his practice through this medium of photography and film is evocative and thought inspiring.
I feel there is a lot of potential for this work to continue and come to reveal more about John, his practice and the relationships he garners during the reciprocal exchange of practice."