I am excited to have received a new commission through Bethlem Gallery as part of Mental Health and Justice, a research initiative led by Kings College and funded by Wellcome. I will be looking specifically at the use of Advance Directives for people with Bipolar. You can read more about the Mental Health and Justice project here.
An advance directive is a document individuals can write setting out their wishes of how they want to be treated if they become unwell and lose insight into their condition, and lack capacity to make important decisions. It allows you to say in advance, whilst well, whether you would want to take medication or if you don't want to be admitted to hospital, for example. It is a complex area of research with many ethical and philosophical considerations.
I have an advance directive which I wrote back in 2007, after I had been under section in hospital. I will be looking at this closely as part of my work.
My role as an artist in the project is to create work around the notion of advance directives. At this early stage I am thinking about ideas of binding and restraint. My work will also explore the concept of support, both in mental health treatment and in sculpture.
My initial concept is to make a large scale hanging fabric structure which will include binding techniques. However this is may change and develop the work progresses.