Exhibition

The Hidden Noise: Tinnitus and Art

8 Oct 2021 – 31 Oct 2021

Regular hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
Closed
Wednesday
Closed
Thursday
12:00 – 18:00
Friday
12:00 – 18:00
Saturday
12:00 – 18:00
Sunday
12:00 – 18:00

Special hours

08-Oct-2021
Closed

Free admission

OVADA Gallery

Oxford, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Stagecoach and Oxford Bus Company run regular services into Oxford, with the nearest bus stops to the warehouse being Frideswide Square and Park End Street. From London, the Oxford Tube and X90 coaches run regularly into the City Centre and Gloucester Green Bus Station.

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OVADA is delighted to host an exhibition of work by commissioned artists Fern Thomas and Nina Thomas, who are set to transform our warehouse into a multi-layered exploration of their shared experiences of tinnitus.

About

From 8th – 31st October 2021 the artists will present their new work, created as part of a 2-year Arts and Humanities Research Council project – Tinnitus, Auditory Knowledge and the ArtsThe project brings together Dr Marie Thompson from the Open University, Dr Patrick Farmer from Oxford Brookes University’s Sonic Arts Research Unit, The British Tinnitus Association and OVADA to investigate how the arts might help to enrich understandings of tinnitus and the diverse ways it affects listeners. This newly commissioned work, created during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be exhibited alongside creative responses from project workshop participants which explored how arts activities could be used to share different experiences of tinnitus. 

Tinnitus is the conscious perception of sound for which there is no external source. Around 30% of people experience tinnitus at some point in their lives. It tends to be thought of as an unpleasant ringing in the ears, but everyone’s tinnitus is different. Some people may hear whistling, buzzing, crackling or even music. Tinnitus may be constant or intermittent. Or it might change in relation to a person’s mood or environment. In exploring the relationship between tinnitus and the creative arts, this project aims to expand common cultural tropes about the condition, and develop new approaches for sharing experiences that can allow for its variability.

Through the mediums of installation, moving image, and artist publication, Nina Thomas’ work explores the relationship between loss, memory, and tinnitus. Her project draws on her personal experience of developing tinnitus following a sudden hearing loss. Also drawing from her lived experience of tinnitus, artist Fern Thomas explores a speculative world where humans become receivers of the invisible frequencies transmitted by natural phenomena. From the singing of stars to the sucking of sea water through stones, the work seeks out experiencing these inner sounds as something meaningful.

Visitor Information: 
www.ovada.org.uk/covid-opening
*Please check the latest visitor information on the day of travelling to attend the exhibition or events as opening hours may change at short notice.

This project is supported by AHRC, the British Tinnitus Society, The Open University and Oxford Brookes University. OVADA is kindly supported by Oxford City Council. 

Curators

Lucy Phillips

Exhibiting artists

Fern Thomas

Nina Thomas

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