The artists selected for The Aesthetics of Mental Health have taken inspiration from the history of mental health care, as well as evolving approaches to care today. Focusing on the individual experience within the larger institutional space, each artist has taken recognizable imagery and transformed it, transcribing new meaning to the objects. A common thread within all the works featured in the exhibit is tangibility. With the topic of mental health, representations of the diversity of the individual experience can become abstract when represented through artwork. The artists have incorporated tactile materials, including veils, bricks, pills, and a ball of yarn to bring physicality to intangible feelings and experiences.
This exhibition was inspired by the grounds of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital and the picturesque environment surrounding it. The combined natural and constructed environmental elements were originally designed to influence a patient's mental health still resonate among the grounds’ users today.
We have constructed the exhibit intentionally through a suggested order in which to explore the site, bringing the works of 5 artists who have made work engaging with the themes of mental health care and its history on the Lakeshore Grounds. Each page builds on the themes discussed with the previous artist, with curatorial statements guiding your exploration of the exhibit, and introducing the broader context of what themes drew these artists together.