Still from Chameleon Abilty, Esther Maxwell-Orumbie
Still from Journey to Recovery, John McGill, 2016
Map of an Englishman, Grayson perry, 2004. Etching from four plates

It’s how well you bounce

Bethlem Gallery

2nd September – 28th October 2017

Open 10am – 5pm, Wednesday – Friday, including first and last Saturdays of the month

Our capacity to cope with adversity and in some cases, be strengthened by it is an astounding feature of the human condition. Yet society’s expectations that we should bounce back, put up a fight and recover, could be counter-productive in how we deal with adversity. This exhibition explores our understanding of resilience, its relationship to the imagination and to artistic practice.

Contributers: Jan Arden, Liz Atkin, Barrington, Dragon Cafe, Sarah Carpenter, Corali Dance Company in collaboration with Hydar Dewachi, David Gilbert & Lila Palmer & Rose M. Hall, Sara Haq, Matthew, Esther Maxwell-Orumbie, John Mc, Sue Morgan, Mr X, Max Reeves, Grayson Perry, RE:CREATE Psychiatry, Roy, Sara Shamsavari, Maureen Scott, Martin Wade, Peter White, the vacuum cleaner and Xavier White

Our event partners include Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Wellcome Collection, Kings College London and TATE.

Click here for exhibition guide


Let Your Voice Be Heard
that’s how well you bounce

Through the exhibition, RE:CREATE Psychiatry are creating Let Your Voice Be Heard; a platform for multi-site dialogue; a platform that connects those who inhabit the community spaces of The Dragon Café with those who reside and work in the clinical spaces of the Royal Bethlem Hospital.

They are in residence at The Dragon Café throughout October. So, join them every Monday for workshops and conversations at 2pm, and evening events, performances, and films at 7pm where we will collectively explore the notions, concepts and politics of resilience.

The Dragon Cafe is in the Crypt of St George the Martyr Church, Borough High Street, SE1 1JA. Directions available here.

More information about this project here:

Paper Aeroplanes, Martin Wade
Cohedia: A mind expanding cityscape, Xavier White
Unemployed, Maureen Scott, 1974

Resilience, Relationship & Return

Friday 22 Sept / Workshop 11am-1pm / Showing 2pm-3pm / Bethlem Gallery

A practical workshop exploration on Resilience, Relationship & Return through poetry and storytelling with poet David Gilbert and creative collaborators Lila Palmer & Rose M Hall. The day will wrap up with an informal showing of works created in the session and a musical happening in which workshop participants are encouraged to take part. Resilience, Relationship & Return is a pilot for a larger performance and series of workshops based on the modern fable ‘The Jewel Merchants’ by David Gilbert, a narrative based critical reflection on patient or client involvement.

Rose & Lila are a pair of bolshy twenty-thirty something creatives who make new music theatre together and other things separately. Rose is from London & Lila is from Yorkshire. They like good stories, cackling loudly and telling awkward anecdotes. You can see some of their work together here:

David is a mental health practitioner, service user and poet who thinks the arts seem more fun than the NHS, and is their newest superfan. You can read David’s blog here: and buy his poetry collection from Cinnamon Press in January 2018.



Find Your Way

Saturday 28 Oct / Workshop 1pm-3pm / Performance 3:30pm-4pm / Bethlem Gallery

Corali Dance Company have collaborated with artist Jan Arden in devising a workshop and performance inspired by imagined worlds and landscapes. They invite you to join them for a workshop that will start with Jan to explore imagined worlds through drawing, the drawings will then be used to inform a movement workshop led by performers from Corali. The day ends with a performance by Corali performers at a special location within the beautiful grounds of the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Corali is a leader in dance-performance created by artists with learning disabilities. Their work is made through a process of artistic collaboration, and interrogates the relationship between dance and other art forms.

In collaboration with film maker Hydar Dewachi, Corali is also creating a film for the exhibition inspired by their work with Jan Arden.


No need to book tickets for the performance, just turn up at the gallery by 3:30pm and you’ll be taken to a special location in the hospital grounds where the performance will take place.

Corali Dance Company in collaboration with Hydar Dewachi, Find Your Way, 2017, Photo © Hydar Dewachi
Sara Shamsavari, Reman, Dubai, 2017

Time Well Spent

Sun 3rd Dec / TATE Exchange, Level 5, TATE Modern

Bethlem Gallery collaborate with TATE in programming a series of performances, actions, talks and interventions as part of TATE’s Time Well Spent programme. Time Well Spent investigates how different ways of spending time might be considered productive or unproductive, how different forms of work might be valued or unappreciated, and how different social and political models might change our everyday priorities. Discuss how artists have played with notions of time. Assess how you spend and value your time. Create a new schedule free from your current restraints.

Institutional Resilience 

Spring/Summer 2018 / Bush House, King’s College London

Bethlem Gallery and King’s College London collaborate to present an evening exploring Institutional Resilience with speakers from across the arts, social sciences and public policy. This event will be part of an Arts in Mind festival programme to take place in venues across King’s, including the newly renovated Bush House, once the iconic home of the BBC’s World Service.


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