Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
It was a fairly quiet week at work as I was assessing student submissions for their mount-making module and meeting with our External Examiner for the first time, the rather excellent Tim Carson, AKA Timothy Information Ltd. In addition to genuinely useful ideas about taking the course forward, we discussed Crass (band), the violin playing talents of Felieke van der Leest, cakes and much more!
Next week is smart materials, robotics and new technology, which should be very exciting. Expect video!
Saturday was spent in London with friend and colleague, Rachael Colley. We started off at the British Museum to see the work of our mutual friend, Heidi Hinder which is featured in the "Money" galleries and which looks at new ideas about payment.
After this we headed off to Kent - south London, really, to met with Anastasia Young and Paul Wells and to visit the Bethelm Museum of the Mind, a museum in what used to be known as "Bedlam" dedicated to art by people with mental health issues as well as to the history and treatment of mental health problems. I'm pleased to say that in a turnaround from the Victorian visiting policy, it is housed in a working psychiatric hospital and some of the patients work there.
I particularly liked the Rorschach Test wallpaper. Perhaps an inspiration for my new house?!
There is a big retrospective of the work of Richard Dadd on at the museum at the moment, and we thought that we were going to a talk about his work but instead it turned out to be a completely unrelated talk about how popular media portrays psychiatrists and psychiatric disorders, given by Jackie Hopson. It was one of those brilliant times when something unexpected proves to be fascinating and engaging and Jackie listed with humour - and a little anger - the appalling tropes of mental illness with which most of us engage unthinkingly on a daily basis.
You will recall that in December, I posted about meeting with Anastasia and about her partner Paul Wells' collection of memento mori, which had been filmed as "The Death Collector". Rachael and I were thrilled to be able to actually view some of the collection for ourselves!
An absolute pleasure.
The rest of the weekend has been bunged up drains and other work on the house. The bunged up drains are unbunged now and my greenhouse has been built:
It's all getting to the stage of selecting paint...
And I'm finding myself drawn to Kandinsky-inspired colour combinations.
Just because it kind of fits in with the weekend in London, I was reminded of one of my favourite animations by the Quay Brothers, In Absentia, a piece about a mentally-ill patient who wrote endless letters to her departed husband. The music is by another of my favourites, Karlheinz Stockhausen.