October 1, 2021 - February 4, 2022Free
Unescorted #10 is an exhibition showcasing work by service users from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s Forensic Services, featuring painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. The exhibition will also feature documentation of artistic process carried out on and off the wards through the pandemic. Unescorted #10 speaks to our recent shared experiences of physical restriction through artworks that convey the artists’ unique perspectives.
The exhibition’s title ‘Unescorted’ plays on a term that describes a type of leave given to a patient who is held on section, to physically leave the locked ward. The freedom that the artwork embodies offers a poignant counterpoint to the restrictions that detention and COVID lockdown imposes.
Alongside psychiatric treatments, arts technicians working within Occupational Therapy enable service users to engage in creative activities through the simple process of identifying and developing people’s skills and ideas. Every person who walks into the art rooms both on the ward and across the hospital has a different set of needs, interests and strengths. The important part of the process starts there, where staff get to know the individual and begin to build a mutual relationship of trust and respect. The role of the arts staff is to consistently nurture confidence in the individual and foster a supportive, playful environment where people can feel a freedom of mind.
“You have to play it by ear, an experienced facilitator, teacher or pedagogue has a wealth of knowledge so that they can assess the work that people are doing, how it could be applied, and make technical or conceptual suggestions to help to fulfil its potential. Something that seems insignificant, a little doodle for example, can become a work of art when it is seen in that context. When the artist sees their work in that light it can act as a springboard, and it encourages them to take risks with their work and continue to make. For me it is important to measure the quality of time spent by the person. Joy elevates people and helps people to cope with what they are going through. Creative time can provide an outlet for expression, focus, play and freedom which acts as a valuable counterpoint for the restrictions of the hospital environment. The brain needs that.”
– Josip Lizatovic, Art Coordinator, River House.
Exhibiting artists: Aaron, Ahmed, Barrington, Damain, Joker Dapper, Leon, Oliver, Lloyd, Mark, Mo, Mr X, Warren and contributions from service users and staff on Waddon Ward.