Asylum Series

This set of etchings was produced in response to a set of plans, dated 1908. The plans show the typical layout of a Mental Asylum. This particular asylum was built in the village where I live, as a private hospital for paying patients. The Asylum has closed and is now a housing redevelopment.

Through my research during the MA, I found out about the history of mental health, the writings of Michel Foucault and Erich Fromm were particularly interesting. The insensitive treatment of people with mental health problems influenced my use of the plans and is evident in the final prints.

The hospital and its landscaped gardens look like a highly controlled environment.

Using parts of this plan, I have subverted the control and offered a portal to the other world, of sanity and freedom. The red thread suggests an escaping consciousness and the red dot, the route of escape.

A red dot could represent the apparent finality of circumstances, an official stamp of authority.
A red string could be a connection, for example between male and female sides of a personality.
The viewer will bring their own valid and personal interpretation to this work.

Size of each, framed, 730 x 580 cms.