In this Moment – India Harvey | Gawain Hewitt and musicians from City of London Sinfonia with young people from Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School
Bethlem Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of In this Moment, an immersive sensory environment of interactive sound works and soft sculptures exploring ideas around nature and the cosmos created by India Harvey and Gawain Hewitt with students from Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital Schools. Facilitated by classical music, sunlight and shadow and bespoke technologies, the showreveals some of the processes used by artists working in psychiatric settings where young people living with severe mental health conditions are encouraged to focus away from illness towards spontaneous improvisation.
The installation transforms the gallery into a quiet acoustic space arranged with soft organic shapes, floor cushions, bolsters and benches upholstered in fabrics covered in abstract artworks applied through drawing, painting, cyanotype printing and dyeing. Three soundscapes; Hexagon, Four Seasons and Dawn Chorus are presented in the form of wood sculptures that play sounds when triggered by movement, light and direct touch. A fourth, New Paths, is a digital work made over Zoom during lockdown.
For the last four years – as part of the award-winning Sound Young Minds music-making project originated by City of London Sinfonia (CLS) – artist and composer Hewitt has collaborated with classical musicians, and young people from the Schools. In the collaborations, musicians on harp, clarinet, violin, viola, double bass, cello, oboe, French horn, bassoon and other instruments drew on themes of bird song, the seasons and astronomy from CLS’ repertoire and classical pieces by Vivaldi and JS Bach. The musicians responded directly to sounds made by the young people on bespoke instruments and digital platforms produced by Hewitt, who has turned the hybrid compositions into sculptures.
Working with another group of students from the Schools in intuitive, gently exploratory and safe ways in multi-sensory environments, artist and researcher Harvey created new methods of making in the creation of the fabrics for the soft sculptural pieces, The students wore drawing and painting tools attached to their bodies, utilised sunlight to make cyanotype prints with found natural objects, and cast shadows with aluminium sculptures on folded fabric to create fractal patterns.
India Harvey is an artist and researcher whose work explores the possibilities of having multiple, distinct and complex relationships with the textures of our lived environments; their previous work includes collaborations and commissions with the South London Gallery, Tate Modern, Camden Arts Centre, Milton Keynes Art Gallery, Focal Point and the Arnolfini, as well as working as a Playworker in adventure playgrounds in London. Gawain Hewitt is an artist and composer known for combining technology with more traditional musical and artistic practices, and working collaboratively with specific communities. His commissions include installations for Wigmore Hall, City of London Sinfonia and the Royal Albert Hall, and he has permanent pieces in St Mary’s and Royal Brompton Children’s Hospitals.
In this Moment launches Bethlem Gallery’s 2022 programme exploring care in all its forms – as political action, response to injustice, as support, community or living well together – and marks 25 years since Bethlem Gallery opened in 1997, in the grounds of the Bethlem Royal Hospital in south east London. Throughout the year, artists, scientists, therapists and other practitioners will work together on sound, sculpture, video and textile works exploring ideas relating to mental health, climate change, racism, the home, and the power of music.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
In this Moment by India Harvey and Gavin Hewitt, 5 February 2022 – 14 April 2022, Bethlem Gallery, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX. Open Wednesday – Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm and first and last Saturdays of the month. Free admission. Telephone 020 3228 4101. Email email@example.com www.bethlemgallery.com
Gawain Hewitt is an artist and composer, particularly known for combining technology with more traditional musical and artistic practices. Much of Gawain’s work is collaborative and co-created, providing a platform for communities that might otherwise not be heard and devaluing the artistic ego through the involvement of other people in the creative process. Commissions include installations for Wigmore Hall, City of London Sinfonia and the Royal Albert Hall with permanent pieces at St Mary’s and Royal Brompton Children’s Hospitals. Hewitt’s work has been shown at Spitalfields Festival, the V&A and the Tate Modern and he is an active member of the London based Hackoustic group and South London Makerspace. Hewitt has made music in diverse settings, from compositions for Soprano, Recorder and Oboe (for Heather B Swann’s solo show in Melbourne, Australia), to UK hip hop (he worked on N Dubz double platinum and MOBO award winning debut Uncle B), to improvising with code and hydrophones on a frozen fjord with Terje Isungset and Arve Hendriksen at the Ice Music Festival in Norway. In 2020 Hewitt set up a very low latency online free improvisation, with musicians in 3 locations using standard broadband, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. www.gawainhewitt.co.uk
City of London Sinfonia (CLS) is rooted in the belief that music and creativity are for anyone and everyone. They put responsive, in-the-moment music-making and musician development at the forefront of all their activities, engaging audiences in shared, meaningful music experiences wherever they may be. City of London Sinfonia gives over 75 performances each year, performing regularly at the Albany (Deptford), Canada Water Theatre, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southwark Cathedral, and St Paul’s Cathedral. They have been Resident Orchestra at Opera Holland Park since 2004. Tours in recent years have included Japan, Ireland, and cathedrals around the UK. Recordings include King of Ghosts with sarodist Soumik Datta (Globe Music, 2017) and Stuart Hancock’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Sony Classical, 2017). www.cityoflondonsinfonia.co.uk
Sound Young Minds is an award-winning programme created by the City of London Sinfonia designed to build confidence and self-esteem in young people living with severe mental health and psychiatric conditions through music-making. CLS’s artists and musicians work alongside students and staff to deliver a range of creative projects using instruments and technology that respond to the Orchestra’s artistic programmes. Sound Young Minds was created in partnership with Bethlem & Maudsley Hospital School and has extended into Lavender Walk Adolescent Mental Health Unit (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust) and The Darwin Centre (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust). The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and the Centre for Humanities and Health are evaluating the project, funded by a King’s Together Award. It aims to establish which outcomes benefit from the programme and how these can be characterised and measured. Sound Young Minds is supported by Youth Music and The Calleva Foundation. https://www.kcl.ac.uk/research/sound-young-minds
India Harvey is an artist and researcher whose work explores the possibilities of having multiple, distinct and complex relationships with the textures of our lived environments; how these relationships express themselves and how we may be able to relate to others’ through shared exposure to unusual materiality. This practice is active in the struggles against imposed/implied essentialism of marginalised or misunderstood bodies and minds, with a particular focus on Neurodiveristy, child cultures, inclusion and access, seeking to create spaces that enrich perceptual, cognitive and multisensory experiences of art by granting participants permission to interpret and understand on their own terms.
Harvey’s previous work includes collaborations and commissions with the South London Gallery, Tate Modern, Camden Arts Centre, Milton Keynes Art Gallery, Focal Point, and the Arnolfini, as well as working for many years as a Playworker in several London Adventure Playgrounds. Most recently they have undertaken the Lumsden Residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, have toured an immersive installation with dancer Fernanda Munoz-Newsome and are collaborating with Lisa Marie Bengtsson on an under-5s playspace at the Barbican Centre, London. www.dontcomplain.co.uk
Bethlem Gallery works with around 200 emerging and established contemporary artists each year, many with lived experience. Recent exhibitions and collaborations include RIP SENI (2022); Metaphysical Conundrums by Sara Haq (2021); Switching Perceptions (2019) by Eleanor Minney; It’s how well you bounce (2017) with Grayson Perry, Sara Haq and Corali Dance Company; What remains: Anatomy of the artist (2017) by Mr X, Michaela Ross and Olga Masleinnikova at Siobhan Davies Dance Company; Redefining Bedlam (2016) in collaboration with Wellcome as part of Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond; Behold Contonues to Retreat (2015), curated by Mark Titchner including works by Paul Noble, Chantal Joffe and Anna Barriball; and Sanctuaries (for Anxiety Festival 2014 in collaboration with Gasworks) with a collaboration by Christina Kral and ‘Patient X’.
The Gallery works with partners including Kings College London, Goldsmiths College (UoL), Tate, Wellcome and Southbank Centre. It is currently working on the research project Mental Health & Justice, collaborating with Primary studios in Nottingham, commissioning artists to make new artworks for two new hospital buildings, and participating in Lewisham Borough of Culture 2022.
From its early beginnings Bethlem Gallery has worked directly with inpatients from initially simply providing an exhibition space, to the building shared with the Bethlem Museum of the Mind today. The Gallery works alongside artists on site, and across the UK and beyond to foster artistic development and enable the conversations artists want their art to provoke, to supporting NHS staff in their work, and providing a space where visitors can connect, talk and learn. www.bethlemgallery.com