Denis Reed (ARCA. RWA), artist and patient at Bristol Mental Hospital 1952-55, created perceptive documentary drawings of what he saw that retain a startling power. Each of his beautiful A4 line drawings of patients - sleeping, shaving, bathing, walking, talking - speak volumes of what life was like in this psychiatric hospital in the 1950s, shortly after the NHS had taken over the management. The Victorians had placed a value on occupation as a treatment and previously patients, wherever possible, would have been given a job to do within the hospital community. This was not considered appropriate for the new establishment and this lack of occupation is illustrated by Reed's drawings.
To glimpse a selection of the Denis Reed collection go to http://www.glensidemuseum.org.uk/bristol-mental-hospital/denis-reed/denis-reed-gallery/
Glenside Hospital Museum, based in the Grade II listed Victorian asylum church, within the grounds of Bristol’s 1861 to 1994 psychiatric hospital, has 83 of his drawings along with compelling exhibits that provide an opportunity to examine the care provided for people with mental illness and learning disabilities in the past, and to consider our own health needs.
We are always looking for interesting and visually appealing images for the cover of the Journal and would welcome suggestions or pictures, which should be sent to Dr Allan Beveridge, British Journal of Psychiatry, 21 Prescot Street London E1 8BB, UK or email@example.com.