Unescorted #11 is an exhibition showcasing work by service users from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s Forensic Services, featuring painting, drawing and sculpture exploring connections to each other and our world. The exhibition’s title plays on a term that describes a type of leave given to a patient who is held under section – to physically leave the locked ward.
Forensic services support people with connections to the criminal justice system who authorities feel might benefit from time in hospital to be treated for a mental illness. Someone admitted under section is kept in hospital through provisions in the Mental Health Act to protect their own health and safety or that of other people.
Alongside psychiatric treatments, art technicians working within the Occupational Therapy service engage patients in creative activities through the simple process of identifying and developing their skills and ideas. Every person who walks into the art rooms both on the ward and across the hospital has a different set of needs, interests and strengths. The important part of the process starts there, where staff get to know the individual and begin to build relationships of mutual trust and respect. The role of the arts staff is to consistently nurture confidence and foster a supportive, playful environment.
Unescorted #11 is a two-part exhibition, the second part of which is in the Long Gallery at Maudsley Hospital. Read more about Part 2 of the exhibition here.
Image credit: Eddie, Cup Head Drawings, 2023
Find out more about South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s Forensic Services
See more works from the exhibition below, hover over the image to see the artist and title information: