David Parkin's Delusions of Grandeur
Currently touring at
Bethlem Museum of the Mind
22nd April - 22nd July 2022
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Kent BR3 3BX
Previously toured at
Attenborough Arts Centre
‘David Parkin’s Delusions of Grandeur’ is a fully immersive installation that tells you everything you didn't want to know about being sectioned. In 2015 David suffered his first bipolar manic episode. Listen to songs he wrote and recorded while in the Bradgate Unit, read about moments in the ward (such as escaping to the Champagne Bar, falling madly and obsessively in love, and being punched by a fellow inmate), also check out his alternative vision of seclusion.
Kate Unwin - Producer
Loz Atkinson - Visual Artist
David Conrd Dhonau - Sound
Prof. Steve Brown - Advisor
Tim Sayers & Lydia Towsey -
Arts in Mental Health Coordinators
(Leicester Partnership NHS Trust)
David Parkin in conversation with Rob G,
EVENT HAS PASSED. WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT BELOW.
Rob Gee is one of Leicester’s most loved performance poets. He’s also a psychiatric nurse. In the chat we’ll be talking about issues raised in the exhibition from a mental health nurse’s perspective. Topics may include NHS bureaucracy, the special bonds of love (and hate) between medical practitioner and patient and what it is like to physically restrain a person going properly batshit.
David Parkin in conversation w/ Philip Ross chaired by Lydia Towsey, 7th May, 2pm
Philip Ross is the chair of Design in Mental Health, a network that aims is to transform mental health environments and to improve patient recovery. Dave talked at the last DiMH conference and was rather taken aback by the new innovations in design. We’ll be talking about these innovations in contrast with Dave’s somewhat bleak experience in 2015. Also, Dave will inevitably mention key topics that still bother him, including: the inhumanity of seclusion, the ridiculousness of the NHS smoking ban when applied to mental health units and how difficult it is to wank under section.
David Parkin in conversation with Linda Parkin & Pete Shenton, 28th May, 2pm
In this chat we talk to Dave’s mum (Linda) and a close friend who visited him often, Pete Shenton. Linda was a P.E. teacher and some people might describe her as a feisty little woman and Pete is one half the comedy dance duo, New Art Club. We’ll be talking about the moments of horror and hilarity involved is supporting someone during a manic bipolar episode: having to listen to Dave sing songs while heavily sedated, making friends with other patients and the unique pain of getting a loved one sectioned.
David Parkin's Writing Workshop, POSTPONED
Dave will be holding writing workshops inspired by the themes raised in his exhibition. Although the exhibition is only a starting point as Dave likes to make his workshops open ended, fun and
delightfully democratic. So the workshops may delve into odd aspects of mental health or they may end up being about something completely different. On Saturday the fourth of June there will be a performance of the writing within the exhibition. This might be a low-key affair of it may include show tunes and juggling. Dave’s just not sure yet, why don’t you pop along and find out.
David Parkin in conversation w/ Colin Gale chaired by Lydia Towsey, 25th June, 2pm
Colin Gale is the director and former archivist of Bethlem, which means he knows rather a lot about the history of the place and about the history of mental health art itself. Dave has made work about his mental health in a variety of mediums (the exhibition, an album, comedy, a book) and they will talk about this journey and how Dave came to make ‘Delusions’. We will also pick Colin’s brains about other artists, the history of sectioning and they will investigate ‘why’. Why does art about mental health happen?
Good Friday, 22nd July, 6pm - 7pm
Good Friday is a journey. Nine songs from pit to recovery, from despair to hope.
In 2009, David Parkin suffered from clinical depression. As he recovered he taught himself how to play the piano and found himself writing an album about his breakdown. 'Good Friday'. Wanting to give an honest account of depression and recovery, David describes the breakdown and then the joy of discovering the piano and writing songs about it.