The ‘Neither Use Nor Ornament’ (NUNO) group exhibition at the OVADA gallery in Oxford ended last week …

I’m so grateful to those who responded to the ‘102 Pieces of Glass’ installation, created especially for the show. You can never take anything for granted when asking people to respond to your work – in this case, an installation made up of 102 glass objects. There’s no guarantee that people will take part – or, if they do, how they might respond to a request to interact with an existing piece of art work.

In the event, many visitors to the gallery (including Ronnie, the dog!) did engage & interact – exactly what I’d hoped for! A fascinating, varied array of items were left behind throughout the course of the exhibition’s run. I was able to speak with some people about the objects during my visits there; some people wrote about what they’d left, while others left things in my absence and I know nothing about the narrative behind them.

Grateful thanks to everybody who participated; I value every gesture & token left behind – and yes, especially that well-chewed orange ball – thanks, Ronnie! It also feels important to acknowledge that taking part, for some people, was a big deal and how much I value that, too.

There was undoubtedly a lot more colour when I returned to Oxford for the second week of the show’s run and the ledger book contained interesting snippets about connections people had made with some of the glass objects. Strong associations with grandmothers and other older female relations was a common theme, not surprisingly, as so much of the installation was made up of domestic objects from the 1930s onwards. Certainly, for the majority of my Nana’s lifetime, a woman’s place was primarily, in the home.

Here are a selection of photos I took of some of the items that people left in the midst of my ‘102 Pieces of Glass’ installation. Thank you to everybody who took part:

And huge thanks also to the curator, Sonia Boué, for her tireless work to make this group exhibition of 14 artists happen; to Pete for his amazing help & support, particularly over these past few months, to other artists in the show for their warmth & generosity and to the lovely, welcoming people at OVADA gallery who helped make the overall experience such a pleasant & positive one. And of course, to Arts Council England for providing funding for the ‘Neither Use Nor Ornament’ exhibition – enabling artists to create & present their work.

1 Comment