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A line drawing in black of a Passenger Pigeon bird with wings outstretched in flight, used as the logo of the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre. k.png
An artistic blue brick background with the exhibit title “The Aesthetics of Mental Health” designed in the negative space, used as the logo for the exhibit.

Curatorial Statement 

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.


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4kg and 8kg: A red brick with the word ‘ADVANCE’ imprinted onto its surface is placed  next to a ball of soft grey/beige yarn. The brick is deteriorating with age and is covered in black and white speckles. The ball of yarn is adjacent to the brick with the end of its string loose from the ball.
2015-2020: A 4x2 grid of clear acrylic squares sits on a scratched silver metal backing. Within each of the squares are suspended pills of various sizes and colours.
Veiled Anterior: An illustration of a human skeletal torso against a backdrop of blue bricks. Crushed pink and blue flowers are placed at the top of the skeleton figure’s neck. Draping down from the flowers across the front of the figure is a veil with fraying ends at the edge.
Mask: An oil painting of a human figure with orange hair in blue medical scrubs putting on a blue medical mask against a muted grey background. One of the figure’s hands is positioned at the back of his head while the other is affixing their mask in place.
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