‘Taking a Turn’ explores the mental health history of hospital gardens from 1800 to contemporary times, using historical archives as well as historical and contemporary patient narratives in a garden installation. The installation is at Exchange Square, the original site of Bedlam – Bethlem Royal hospital – the world’s oldest psychiatric hospital. ‘Taking a Turn’ brings together medicine, history and horticulture in a fresh approach about a little-known medical history. This history has become a seedbed for the contemporary movement popularising horticulture and outdoor exercise as a therapeutic regime.

Rebecca Smith, Kings College London, and Bethlem Royal Hospital at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) have partnered to produce the installation with the support of the Wellcome Trust.

We are hosting a series of related public talks during the festival at the site. For more details please see Rebecca Smith posts.  We are also running a London tour of free school workshops on related themes during the academic year 2015/16. Contact Rebecca Smith here  for more details.

The garden installation is displayed from 16 May to 5 June at Exchange Square, Broadgate. To find the installation follow the Broadgate exit at Liverpool Street station. Exchange Square is a five minute walk from Liverpool Street station to the north side of the station.

Image reproduced thanks to the Wellcome Library, London.