Inspired by his own encounters with psychiatric hospitals, which he experienced as punishing rather than loving environments, the vacuum cleaner hopes that ideas from this project can eventually influence mainstream mental health care, offering individuals 'a safe place to go mad'.
“There’s a reason why we’re doing this as an art project. The brilliant thing about the art world is it gives you space to try things. And space to fail. You can try things and aim for it to be utopian. And Madlove is a utopian idea – it’s willfully optimistic!” - the vacuum cleaner in The Liverpool Echo
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The Vacuum Cleaner
Mixed media installation
The aim of Madlove is to build the most crazy, bonkers, mental asylum you dare dream of: a desirable and playful space to ‘go mad’, countering the popular myth that mental illness is dangerous and scary. This temporary asylum will be a responsive space for exploring and redesigning madness.
In 2014 the vacuum cleaner and collaborator Hannah Hull led a series of workshops around the UK, where they spoke to the full spectrum of people with lived experience of mental illness, artists, designers, mental health professionals and anyone who wanted to contribute. These discussions have inspired this installation – a proposal for a radical new approach to how mental health hospitals could be designed and run. A full version of Madlove will be realised in 2016.
the vacuum cleaner was inspired by his own encounters with psychiatric hospitals, which he experienced as punishing rather than loving environments. He hopes that ideas from this project can eventually influence mainstream mental health care, so that in the future we can all experience madness in a less painful way.
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A new commission for FACT, made possible with support from The Wellcome Trust and supported by The British Psychological Society. Courtesy of the artist.