The Hidden Noise: Tinnitus and Art

Submitted by OVADA Gallery on October 2, 2021 - 15:34

Venue, Timing and Cost

OVADA Warehouse
Friday, 8 October 2021 to Sunday, 31 October 2021
Thursdays - Sundays, 12-6pm

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.

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 Arts. The 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.

PREVIEW EVENT: Thursday 7 October 2021 (4-8pm*)

Visitor Information:
*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.

Further Information

Multi Artform
Film and Animation
Visual Arts

Young People