Bethlem Royal Hospital Grounds, image by Amanda McDowell

Transcript of Bethlem Voices by Amanda McDowell

Please note the piece is best listened to with headphones.

Bethlem Royal Hospital Grounds, image by Amanda McDowell

Bethlem Voices a sound piece by Amanda McDowell

During the summer and autumn of 2021 members of the Bethlem Royal Hospital community walked the grounds and reflected on the site, what it means to them, it’s potential as a space for healing, self-care and recovery, contemplating the many voices that might be encountered in these spaces, including the voices of trees and birds.

Some of these conversations have been brought together in this short sound piece (please click play above) which was developed as part of the Mental Health and Justice project.

The Bethlem Royal Hospital sits within 270 acres of lawns, woodland and meadowland.


Many people were interviewed for this piece – we would like to take this opportunity to thank those who contributed. This includes: Amanda, Courtney, Dan Bushell, Henrietta Webb-Wilson, Mary Yates, Peter O’Hare, Susan Edwards and Terence Wilde.

About the Artist

Amanda McDowell is a lived-experience artist who works with documentary sound. She is currently completing her practice-led PhD, for which she composed a multichannel soundpiece with voices from a British Library archive of women’s mental health testimonies. The piece was exhibited in Sydney as part of the Big Anxiety Festival 2019.  She has also worked as an Associate Lecturer in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, and for several years in the charity sector with migrants, detained asylum seekers and prisoners. If you would like to get in touch with the artist please email

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