5th January - 30th March
Switching Perceptions
Bethlem Gallery
Open Open 10am - 5pm Wednesday - Friday. Including first and last Saturdays of the month

Bethlem Gallery is delighted to present Switching Perceptions, a new exhibition by artist Eleanor Minney in collaboration with Professor Liz Tunbridge and patients from the National Psychosis Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital. In a new body of work spanning textiles, drawing, clay and handwriting, Minney untangles the fragile threads of the human mind through delicate, detailed explorations into what creates a sense of self, and the relationship to psychiatric conditions.

Dissecting the gallery space is Segment of aself, Minney’s four-metre long textile work, featuring two lengths of calico separated by thick wadding. On one side are hundreds of hand drawn ciphers alluding to a person’s holistic sense of self – relationships, spirituality, illness and wellness, home, movement, communication – and on the other side, row upon row of genetic markers with the three that relate to psychotic illness. On the walls of the gallery are smaller textile pieces combining stitch, drawing and natural elements including Calcium channels and Test sample garden, the artist’s explorations of brain, body and environment.

Switching Perceptions also presents work by two patients from the National Psychosis Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital, with whom Minney has been working for the past three months. The patients have created a series of drawings and text works exploring their own sense of self, belief, faith, feelings and nature. Some are diagrams created around the concept of a think tank, developed by one of the patients as a way of connecting clinicians, academics, patients and other specialists. The think tank will evolve into a public event with Eleanor Minney, Prof. Liz Tunbridge and other specialists to be held during the exhibition.

Switching Perceptions has developed from Eleanor Minney’s two-year collaboration with Liz Tunbridge, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, exploring the question, ‘What creates a sense of self?’. Tunbridge’s ongoing research aims to elucidate the links between genetic heritage and predisposition to schizophrenia, with Minney’s artistic enquiry probing some of the central themes and implications of this challenging meeting between science and subjective human experience.

Switching Perceptions is supported by The Royal Society Public Engagement Fund.



Image credits:

1-3 – Detail of Segment of aself

4 – Test sample garden

5 – Layer II ATCG