Reformations (2010) explores a former site of exclusion - the Devon County Pauper Lunatic Asylum (1845) - through its semi-radial architectural design and its archives, particularly those relating to institutional systems, treatments and controls. It involved the unearthing of narratives relating to the former hospital's histories, including its closure by the NHS in 1987 and subsequent transformation into owner-occupier gated residencies - a site of exclusivity.
Using artistic practice as a critical and inventive thinking tool, the project questions the conditions and contexts of the asylum’s inception and ideological construction in relation to human agency and actions. The focus is on the repetitive and potent marking of locks and door handles on walls which leave indexical traces of immurement - wall-wounds. These traces are the vestiges of repetitive institutional acts of aperture and enclosure and are re-enacted then captured through stop frame animation.
Presented as projections, the videos disrupt the normative surface of the walls on which they are exhibited.
The research is published in: Bennett, S. (2010) 'Re-forming the institution: the wall as memory archive' in the Journal of Media Practice Volume 11 Number 3