Obsession at the Asylum, 2019

Obsession at the Asylum brings together the development of Obsession for Perfection and research on the West Ridings Pauper Lunatic Asylum. Aiming to intrigue and educate the local audience of Wakefield’s important history, the research consists of a condensed overview of the West Ridings Pauper Lunatic Asylum, also later known as Stanley Royd Hospital, which was one of the first mental health institutions to offer “moral care” for the “insane poor” in the 1800s.

Using a penny farthing coin to emphasise the little money owned by paupers during the opening years of the asylum, over 23 thousand circles were traced to highlight the obsessional traits latent in insanity.

The audience was invited to engage with the installation by drawing around their own copper coins and joining conversations on mental health, bringing this socially engaged performance to the present day.

If interested in further reading please contact via email.

All photography credits go to the amazing Bob Clayden.