Dream Diaries

Posted on 24th October 2009

An exhibition of hand made journals and recycled book art by patients from the RNRU at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. bookartbookshop Hoxton, presents for the first time an inspiring selection of hand made journals, copiously collaged, and interactive recycled books created by long stay patients with acquired and traumatic brain injuries from the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit at Homerton Hospital. These unique books have been produced during weekly art workshops with patients co-ordinated by the Trust’s Art Curator, Shaun Caton, and a dedicated team of volunteers, most of whom are artists living and working in Hackney. Experimental Art Workshops have been offered to patients for the past 12 years to facilitate social intervention and promote positive empowerment through artistic self expression.The patient’s book art takes many shapes and forms, evolving from found, abandoned publications imbued with new life and significance, richly over painted and densely packed with collaged photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, poems, drawings and doodles, autobiographical and invented stories that boast a wealth of visual material relating to patient’s life experience and personal interest. Most books reveal specific themes and reflect upon illness, treatment and recovery; others are more abstract and metamorphic, evolving over extended time periods, changing direction frequently with an acquisitive visual language. Other books record dreams, musings, and fantasies which are often curious, expressionistic and humorous. Box-books may not appear conventional in the literal sense of the word, and have developed from irregular shaped cardboard boxes upon and within which words and images play off one another energetically. Every book is a positive statement about time spent being in hospital insofar as it represents creative determination and exploration of an elusive and penetrating imagination.

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