Rampton High Secure
April - June 2015
supported by Primary, Anxiety Arts
This project was set up to
...the legacy of the artist, Ian Breakwell's placement at Rampton High Secure Hospital in the 1970s when he was placed there by the Artist's Placement Group (APG). I intended to map the movement of significant ideas, conflicts and decisions involved in his intervention there, which led to a report (still classified under the Official Secrets Act). On not being able to release or exhibit the report Breakwell collaborated with Yorkshire Television to produce a TV programme 'Secret Hospital' – this documentary lead directly to several years of police presence at Rampton, prosecutions and reorganisation. I intended to look into what impact can be felt today, if any, of Breakwell's intervention. I am interested in the function of Rampton as a symbolic space, as a container for fractured psyches, how it functions for those both within and without it and how ideas about the space have shifted.
The project included a period of research at the Tate Archive
I really would like to post a brilliant article about the origins of the 'artist in residence' - that it was an effort by the Arts Council, in its 1970s incarnation, to control and sanitise what APG were attempting to do.
However, I can't find it... coming soon !!!
When you contrast the work and attitudes of the APG to arts practice of today it makes one feel very un-radical.