Delusions of Grandeur

When booking accommodation somewhere, most of us read the reviews. Generally, we do so in order to get an idea of what the place is like – we look to other peoples’ first-hand experiences to help us form a picture. 

If David Parkin were to write a review on his experience of being sectioned in 2015, it’d be pretty scathing. And not very pretty.

But in an effort to fully express what that time was like for him, David’s gone further than writing about it. He’s curated a fully immersive installation for us to try to experience his journey through various sensory mediums including sight, sound and touch.

From pages of his diary written during his stay to songs recorded whilst in seclusion, the entire exhibition is a powerful, ‘unflinching’ insight into David’s mind at the time. 

It’s not just a poignant look back, however, but a hopeful look forward too. During both periods of seclusion David documented his alternative vision for seclusion rooms. Since then, he’s made that vision a reality – and you can now experience it for yourself at the exhibition! Think clouds, nature and nourishment. 

Overall, it’s an invaluable insight that anyone with an interest in improving mental health spaces can harness for change. Here’s the all-important information:

If you’re looking for some additional context around David’s multidisciplinary work, you can catch up on a recording of a conversation he had with DIMHN Chair Philip Ross, who had this to say about David’s exhibition, “David’s exhibition is a ‘must see’ for anyone involved in the design of mental health care environments.  He shares his own lived experience; giving rare insights into how people experience designs decisions when they are in a mental health hospital.  He does this in the most powerful way, sharing a raw and unedited version of his feelings, alongside clinical notes and observations about his time in hospital.  One area that he focuses on is his time in seclusion, a topic that is often debated and discussed at design gatherings – is it humane or not, and do we really need it.  He also shares his own alternative designs for seclusion, something he designed whilst in hospital after being placed in seclusion.  My hope is that his experience and ideas challenge our current design approach to seclusion spaces, and the very concept itself.  I left David’s exhibition and roundtable discussion feeling inspired for the continued push to make these spaces more loving and that staff are supported by environments to build strong therapeutic relationships.”

 

 

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