Monday, 6 August 2012

Bolingbroke Hospital

Exhibition -  'A View Backwards'

Bolingbroke Hospital, Wandsworth closed in 2009. It was a hospital for the elderly and provided social activities one of which was the inspiration for the exhibition, 'A View Backwards'.

Julie Arkell, Penelope Batley and Shelley Goldsmith were all given a selection of objects that had been used to help the patients remember their past experiences .
Photographer, Jason Oddy was commissioned to take photographs of the hospital.

Hospitals are a there to serve us at our best and worst moments. Birth, death,dementia,recovery etc. Hospitals  are layered in history and embedded firmly in the communities they serve. However when conservation comes into play it is difficult to preserve all of these objects (practical and otherwise) including the therapy techniques which had been used in the past. All too often these threads are lost and entombed within the rubble of the buildings, perhaps lost forever. 

This exhibition struck a very strong chord with my own practice and stimulated thoughts such as how to use the found object as a conduit and in turn express what we want to say or what we want to convey to the audience.

Jason Oddy works with the often unseen ways architecture
affects us

I felt this exhibition had made it possible to save these memories, ideas, and caring work, through the playfulness of the artists. Feelings arose for me which could almost lead me to believe that the patients had made the objects themselves. Some being handmade others containing feelings of confusion resembling dementia and disability. In fact for me , the more the objects pertained to being child like the more they exuded authenticity. 
It was difficult at times to see where the artist had left off or indeed where the artists work had begun. I enjoyed this confusion and blurring of lines.

Penelope Batley's interest lays in the unexpected and overlooked

Shelley Goldsmith uses textiles to interpret emotions and memories
associated with the human experience

Juliie Arkell is a contemporary folk artist woking with paper-
mache and mixed media

No comments:

Post a Comment