Ive been volunteering at the Glenside Hospital Museum, in Bristol, for about two years now. Last year an exhibition of work by volunteers was put on for the Heritage Open days.
This hospital was the former Bristol Lunatic Asylum, which opened in 1861 an closed in 1994. The huge building is now a university campus.
My contribution to the exhibition was a large drawing on oiled calico. Because of confidentiality concerns no patient records can be looked at until they are 100 years old, so the museum is rather lacking in patients’ viewpoints or stories, this was an attempt to bring patients into the building. The graphs at the bottom relate to time spent in the hospital and to the number of people who died there.
Meanwhile my art colleagues and I have received a grant to be artists-in -residence at the museum. Currently we are installing an exhibition of the work we have produced during the first half of this residency in an empty shop in central Bristol. All very exciting!
Some of the work had a first outing over the Heritage Open Weekend this year. It can be investigated here