14 February 2015
Evening Times (p.5)

They were armed with the essentials for a weekend camping trip at a music festival.

But the group of volunteers carrying sleeping bags and rucksacks were about to enjoy a real-life night at the museum in the centre of Glasgow.

About 100 men and women spent last night in the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) as part of artist Ellie Harrison’s Dark Days artwork.

The sleepover artwork was held to explore the politics of communal living.

Ellie revealed that nearly 900 people had registered for it.

She said: “I couldn’t believe how popular it was.

“I really I had no idea it would capture everyone’s imagination the way it has.”

The volunteers started to arrive at the museum at 5.30pm before the doors opened at 6pm.

Full-time carer Aimi Houston, 24, from Larkhall, said she applied because she wanted to try something different.

She said: “I saw it advertised online and thought it would be a good experience.

“I thought I’d meet new people and it would help to build my confidence.”

Jackie O’Mara, an occupational health nurse from Motherwell, said she could not believe it when she was picked for the sleepover.

She said: “I think it will be really interesting. I love the museum during the day so I wanted to see what it was like to stay over.

“My nephew applied too but didn’t get in so I couldn’t believe it when I was picked.”

Alastair Semple, 29, from Barrhead decided to take part because he has been trying to do a new challenge everyday for the past 180 days.

He said the overnight stay was the 180th day of his project.

He said: “This seems like a perfect way to end my 180 days.

“It’s definitely something new I’ve never tried before.”

Bulgaria-born Petko Marinov, 23, who lives in the West End, added: “My Valentine’s Day plans fell through so I thought this was the next best thing.”

Rachel Loxton