In November 2014 we were invited to celebrate the 135th anniversary of Psychiatric Hospital Vrapče in Zagreb, Croatia by staging an exhibition in the stunning contemporary gallery space on site. Members of the gallery flew out to the opening to meet and exchange ideas and experiences with the Croatian clinicians and politicians who attended the event. The gallery is called Pavilion Slava Raskaj and was named after a famous painter and former Vrapče patient. The building also houses workshops for residents of the hospital as well as providing a superb space for exhibiting work.
Our Croatian connection started in 2013 when patients from Hospital Vrapče took part in our Flight of Ideas exhibition. The exhibition brought together hospitals from across Europe that had a strong tradition of arts provision on site. Some of the Italian and French participants visited the gallery and met some of our artists. Bringing together artists and institutions from different countries was a fascinating and enlightening experience. We intend to build on this cultural exchange further to explore our common approaches and practices within differing environments and support systems.
In addition to the contemporary gallery the hospital also has a museum, it has been recently re-located on site at the hospital and was re-launched for the anniversary celebrations.
Bethlem: Creative Minds will be on show in Zagreb until April 2015. It displays artwork by artists connected to Bethlem Gallery alongside reproductions of historic works from the Bethlem Museum of the Mind and the Adamson Collection.