Today, Bethlem Gallery announced that they have been awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust to lead a four year public programme of research, working in collaboration with the Mental Health & Justice programme. A statement from the gallery follows:
“We are very excited to announce we have been awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust for four years to commission artists with lived experience to work with researchers from Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London on the complex and important area of mental health and justice. Winning this grant means the world to us. We are looking forward to making space for our artists to bring people together and encourage conversations and learning through their art practices.
“For the next 4 years, Bethlem Gallery will lead the public programme for the research. We will focus specifically on two principal areas of enquiry at the centre of the research; the concept of support in decision-making and the concept of decision-making ability.
“The Mental Health and Justice initiative takes place at a time of active reform in the area of mental health and mental capacity legislation, across the UK and around the world. The collaboration involves clinical experts, lawyers, philosophers, neuro-scientists, social scientists and service-users in a research network that will be delivering practical guidelines, enhancing policy engagement, and advancing interdisciplinary working and innovation in service-user involvement in research and public engagement.
“Bethlem Gallery’s emphasis will be on process, both artistic practice and the integrated involvement of artist, researcher and participants to help us better investigate the areas of enquiry in an accessible and inclusive way. We aim to challenge the often exclusive or hierarchical conversations that have characterised the area. The Gallery has 20 years of experience bringing diverse audiences together through art and facilitating platforms that invert power hierarchies. Our invited artist programme will commission and support artists to devise and lead on a series of collaborative and participatory arts interventions.
“The role of the artist and their practice will be two-fold; to communicate nuance within the research and to provide an accessible platform for underrepresented voices to feed into the research.”
Follow the link to see the work and history of the gallery: http://bethlemgallery.com/