Disordered States: Artist – Beverley Ferguson
On leaving psychiatric hospital after my second admission I decided to create a body of work with its own visual language. My purpose was that by engaging with this process I would begin to facilitate an understanding of my illness.
I also hoped that it would enable me to begin to integrate my experiences of being sectioned and a patient in a psychiatric hospital for long periods of time.
I wanted to express my feelings, communicating in images using a visual language that would resonate and create interest, rather than stereotypes of mental illness that produce stigma.
My sculpture ‘Sectioned’ was created using my paper medical notes. I tore up some of my notes making them into paper - mache. Using chicken-wire for my structure I covered it in the paper - mache and added masking tape. Cutting up strips of white sheet, a metaphor for hospital bed linen, I covered the structure and painted it.
Through the transformation of these materials into a visual piece I hope to have created and captured some of the feelings associated with the devastating loss of self, family, and community on being sectioned.