Bethlem Residency - beginnings

I am proud to be the Artist in Residence at Bethlem Gallery, until June 2017. The gallery is based in the grounds of Bethlem Royal Hospital, which provides specialist psychiatric care to people from around the UK.

Bethlem Gallery and Museum 
This project is particularly personal for me, as ten years ago I was sectioned at Bethlem, before being moved to another hospital. Below is Gresham Ward, where I was kept, it was strange to revisit it after so much time. I am requesting to see my medical notes from this time to piece things together.

Gresham Ward 1 - Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit 
On the first day of the residency, I walked round the grounds. I felt like something of an imposter, taking photographs and drawing. The hospital is set in 270 acres. Currently I am at the stage of gathering information and ideas, before moving forward with making.

Orchard trees in January 
I have been collecting found objects from the grounds - traces patients leave behind. So far I have found lottery tickets, miniature bottle of brandy, a matches and a bottle which looks like it has been smoked through. I have yet to decide what form these will take in the exhibition. 

Greenery outside the forensic unit
At the entrance to the hospital there are two statues, one depicting raving madness, the other representing melancholy. 

This week I am looking forward to seeing the archives and learning more about the history of the hospital and its patients. I am also beginning to research my great grandmother, Julia Dunn, who was in West Park Psychiatric Hospital in Epsom until her death in 1962.