Elisabeth Sunday´s exhibition Mystics and Healers: Holy People and Their Messages is the result of a project, spanning several years, in which the artist traveled throughout the world to photograph and interview spiritual elders from diverse cultural and ethnic communities. Her objective with this body of work is to show how, within this diversity, common threads exist which enrich and inform the human condition. The overarching themes of the exhibition are cultural continuity, reassessment, and renewal as preparation for the next millennium. The spiritual elders are photographed performing their unique forms of worship. Sunday makes these portraits through a large, curved mirror that causes visual distortion and elongation of the figure. She terms her technique "eco-photography: photographing the whole being, not simply a literal representation of the outside shell. Mirrors and reflections have been used since ancient times as tools of spiritual revelation," she explains. "Mystics considered them doorways and windows into the spiritual world. Through the process of photographing a reflection, I make the internal workings of spirituality visible." As part of an interview that occurred before each portrait was made, Sunday asked the elders to formulate and contemplate a special message to help guide the youth of the world into the next century. In India, a Yogini said, "Tell the truth. If you understood how important it is to be truthful and what a tremendous impact being truthful has on your daily life, you would always do it." The message a healer from Bali imparted was, "Your body is a microcosm of the larger macrocosm, Earth. Take care of your body and you take care of the Earth. And remember it is not individual health you work towards, but that of the whole world." Transcriptions of the mystics´ messages accompany the photographs in the exhibition. In addition, a special area of the installation allows visitors to meditate on their own hopes and concerns as well as leave messages for loved ones not present. "By photographing indigenous mystics," Sunday says, "I am highlighting the spirituality that is inherent within each of us....My interest is in the daily practice of the people I photograph. Most of them have been meditating, invoking, praying, and healing for decades. For the mystics and healers, the spiritual path is a way of life." Elisabeth Sunday is an Oakland-based photographer whose works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world. Among the public collections in which she is represented are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Le Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Schomburg Center, New York; The Saint Louis Museum of Art; Finlandís Fotografiska Museum, Helsinki; The Oakland Museum of California; and the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.