Special Beaney exhibition focuses on mental health

The hospital of bethlem bedlam at moorfields robert hooke image credit wellcome collection library 1
The Hospital of Bethlem (Bedlam) at Moorfields, Robert Hooke. Credit: Wellcome Collection Library

A special exhibition showcasing a journey through the history of mental health, from ancient approaches to those of the modern day, opens at the Beaney in Canterbury this Saturday (23 April).

A special exhibition showcasing a journey through the history of mental health, from ancient approaches to those of the modern day, opens at the Beaney in Canterbury this Saturday (23 April).

‘A Place of Safety’ features previously unseen artefacts from the Canterbury Museums and Galleries collection, alongside artwork loaned from the University of Kent, images from the Wellcome Collection and loans of original artwork from Bethlem Museum of the Mind, including some which have not been exhibited previously.

It includes work by previous Bethlem patients Louis Wain and Richard Dadd, with contemporary works from Liz Atkin and Dolly Sen, shining a light on the relationship between mental health, artistic practice and the places that make us feel safe.

Artwork from inpatients of Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust, who have used poetry and art to explore their own feelings of safety while being a patient in hospital, are also going on show.
 
Visitors to the exhibition will be taken through the different periods of mental health – how we understand it, how we treat it and how we consider what makes a space feel safe. There will also be a dedicated visitor area with activities to explore their own creative side and reflect on the exhibition.
 
Canterbury City Council’s lead councillor for culture, Cllr Joe Howes, said: “How we deal with matters of mental health has significantly changed over the years and awareness of these issues is now the highest it has ever been.

“This will be a fascinating and thought provoking exhibition which we expect to be very well attended over the coming weeks.”
 
‘A Place Of Safety’ runs from Saturday 23 April to Sunday 5 June (closed on Mondays). Admission is free, with a suggested £3 donation.
 
For more information go to The Beaney’s website.
 
People thinking of visiting should be aware that this exhibition contains objects, images and text which refer to experiences of mental illness or treatment which some may find upsetting. There are also films that contain language which is not suitable for those aged under 16.

Published: 18th April 2022

Canterbury Newsroom