Mental Health and Justice Commission: A map of ideas

I am nearing the end of the researching and making phase of my commission from the Mental Health and Justice project. I have a year's worth of research and making behind me - I needed to see it all laid out. I decided to get my thought processes out of me and onto the wall. I broke my research down into key concepts - insight and capacity, identity and agency. I then grouped ideas and quotes together in a visual map. I included photos of the work I have made and considered where they fit. I also put up swatches of the fabric and details of materials I've used - concrete / plaster / wax. 

The map has clarified for me that the key experiences in my research have been: conversations with Kings researchers Tanya Gergel and Lucy Stephenson,  writing my own advance directive, reading the voices of people with bipolar in a Kings College research survey. I have also explored how textiles can be used in sculpture and how other artists have worked with it, in particular Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and more recently Shinique Smith. With thanks also to artist Sarah Carpenter for peer support and talking through my thinking for this project. 

The map has led me back to the beginning of my research and early conversations I had with curators at Bethlem Gallery and researchers at Kings College. The myth of Ulysses being tied to the mast as a key metaphor for precedent autonomy. I will write more about this in future posts. 

The next phase of the commission will be to share my work -  an exhibition in the spring with a set of workshops alongside. Introducing the project to others and inviting them into the research will activate it and bring it to life.