The BBC showcased a fantastic interview with Bethlem artist Dan Duggan and curator of the museum Victoria Northwood last week, which can be seen here. It showcased how powerful art can be for peoples mental health and well being, as well a the discussions this art can create. Victoria spoke about it being not just a museum and gallery to be visited by those interested in art or health, but by the wider public to allow these discussions around this field to happen and to break down the stigma that so often comes attached to it.
The above picture shows work by Bethlem artists Daniel (left) and Barrington G (right) in the Bethlem Gallery’s new exhibition titled ‘Where is the work in the work of art?’ Several artists connected to Bethlem Gallery can be seen in this exhibition, with many works offered for sale. At the Gallery’s opening last week there was a discussion led by an artist, the gallery Director and an OT around time and space – two keys things needed to allow an artist to develop and at their own pace. It was very interesting to hear from other artists in the room, as well as the way that Bethlem Gallery and the hospital staff support the artists through their artistic path. This all took place in the new dedicated studio space that the Gallery has which can be seen below. (When on the Bethlem Gallery website, do look at the associated events for this current exhibition, including the launch of Dan Duggan’s book).
The museum itself has a permanent collection on display as well as temporary exhibition spaces. There are some incredible works to see including work by Richard Dadd and the infamous ‘The Maze’ by William Kurelek. There is a fascinating film about it too, which is definitely worth a watch.