HearAfter, a sound installation by Nichola Scrutton

HearAfter, preview on Friday 25 October
HearAfter, preview on Friday 25 October

A few months ago I had arranged an exploratory meeting with Nichola Scrutton to talk about her proposal for HearAfter. Nearly two hours later and after an incredibly interesting conversation about sound and a moving discussion on the themes, we left that meeting with an agreement to try and  show the work at GoMA. In that meeting we discussed the complexities of grief; ideas of decay and disintegration; abstraction; and triggers or markers for emotional memories – whether that was sound or visual. Since then the work has developed and this week we installed the sound ‘piece’ in the round room on Balcony 2.

My first reaction on hearing the work in space was quiet, then I felt the hairs on my arms stand on end and a powerful shift in emotions and memories as the work continued to immerse me. The opportunity to listen was lovely and I had the luxury of quiet moment in the gallery to enjoy the work. Since then, in talking to other people about HearAfter, I have explored notions of the ‘fleeting of breath’, the passing of time, ‘spirituality v. the everyday action of breathing’ and the space we give ourselves to listen. I am so glad it is now open for people to enjoy and bring their own experiences to the work and see where those conversations might lead.

HearAfter is the first sound installation I have worked on since 2005 with Aby Vulliamy and Meridian as part of Rule of Thumb. The space has been interesting, as it is very difficult to work with, but our fantastic AV technicians (Stuart and Jack) and Nichola have been experimenting with recordings and kit, with the result that the clarity of sound in there is emotionally beautiful.

We had originally thought to install the work for a week to tie in with the Day of the Dead Festival, but are hoping to extend it until the end of the month – so there is a little time to see the work if you are not around this weekend. If you are visiting this work or the other exhibitions we would love to know what you think! So either drop us a comment on this blog page; or our Facebook page ; or fill in one of Glasgow Life comments card in the gallery or, if you are writing a review of HearAfter, let us know as well – it would be fantastic to see it. You can also tweet using #HearAfter or tag us @GlasgowGoMA.

If you want to know more about Nichola’s thoughts on ‘HearAfter’ this is the information she sent us HearAfter – Nichola Scrutton. If you want to know more about her other award-winning work there are more details over on her website.

PS: HearAfter is part of a programme developed with Nichola and Final Fling with other events planned for the Day of Dead on the 2 November. There are more details over on the Final Fling website and we will post more about the events on the day next week. Hope to see you there!

Katie Bruce
Producer Curator


  1. Reblogged this on The Sound Art of Living and commented:
    Following the preview of HearAfter, producer curator Katie Bruce shares her thoughts on the GoMA blog. Thanks so much to Katie and GoMA for supporting this work, and various other events being produced in association with Final Fling for the Day of the Dead Festival on 2nd November in Glasgow.

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