Anatomy Of Melancholia at Museum Of The Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Kent.
Jan - April 2019.
An original copy of The Anatomy Of Melacholia on display at The exhibition.
is a book by Robert Burton, first published in 1621
“Melancholy advanceth men’s concepts more than any humour whatsoever”. Since antiquity, the term ‘melancholia’ has named a condition with a wide range of meaning: social, religious and medical. The seventeenth century bestseller The Anatomy of Melancholy assigned a range of causes to, and cautiously advanced possible remedies for, the condition. The book resonates within contemporary discussions about the impact heredity and environment may have upon mental health, and has inspired and influenced a canon of artists, writers and musicians. The exhibition is an exploration of how the proposed causes and cures are represented within the art collection of Bethlem Museum of the Mind. The famous frontispiece of The Anatomy of Melancholy depicts some of these causes, and just one remedy, which are thematically explored through the exhibition. Across the 200 year span of Bethlem’s art collections, there are multiple echoes of these supposed causes, from Jonathan Martin and Richard Dadd in the nineteenth century; through Charles Sims and Madge Gill in the twentieth; to George Harding and Tracie Hodge in the twenty-first. Robert Burton, the author of The Anatomy of Melancholy, thought that those afflicted with melancholia were “of a deep reach, excellent apprehension, judicious, wise and witty”, and in writing about the condition he believed he was holding up a mirror to society at large.
At the opening of The Anatomy of Melacholoia exhibition I met someone who was working as a nurse in Kings IC when I was in an coma there.
Xavier present Colin Gale with Blessed: guardian of lost souls piece for being appointed the Museum and Bethlem Gallery Director and for all his support over the years.
Melancholia I painting by xavier At distance, reworking of Albreche Durers Melancholia I concept and Jacque Tati's Monsior Hulot charter
Melacholia in Love chapter
Anti Valentines Card making Presentation and Workshop
After a talk / discussion on Melancholia in love & referencing archives in making artworks the visitors were invited to make an anti valentines card. Ending the workshop with a pop up exhibition of the cards we'd made.