‘It’s how well you bounce’ at Bethlem Gallery

Bethlem Gallery is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new group exhibition entitled It’s how well you bounce, which explores resilience and its relationship to the imagination and artistic practice. The gallery is an art focused platform for former and current patients of the historic Royal Bethlem Hospital in Bromley, supporting artists with lived experience of mental illness to involve themselves in the positive direction of art making. ArtAttack chats with Bethlem Gallery’s curator Sam Curtis about the show’s themes, the gallery’s milestone anniversary and what the future holds.

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Mr X outside Bethlem Gallery. Photo Ed Watts, Courtesy Bethlem Gallery
 How does the theme of resilience manifest itself in the works in the exhibition?

The theme of resilience manifests itself in the works in the exhibition in diverse ways, we see the works of artists who draw on the imagination as a positive and strategic response to life pressures, works that are born out of the artist’s ability to adapt and survive to new and often challenging circumstances, artists that resist or document resistance to social and political pressures, artists that reroute negative thoughts into something more positive through their art making, artists that map, shape and transform their identity through art making and therapy and importantly we can encounter artworks and projects that critique the notion of resilience that says we need to ‘man or woman-up’ and bounce back from adversity . It’s how well you bounce includes artworks that explore a specific aspect of resilience as well as artworks that come from artistic practice that is itself a form of resilience.

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Installation view of Grayson Perry, Map of an Englishman, 2004. Photo: Ed Watts. Courtesy: Bethlem Gallery

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Drawing Biennial 2017 at the Drawing Room

Where can you find Anthony Gormley next to Grayson Perry and, if you are lucky, take one home for £250? The Drawing Biennial 2017, which brings together a multi-generational collection of 200 works on paper from notable artists. The exhibition culminates in an online auction in the exhibition’s two final weeks, available from £250 with proceeds going to support the Drawing Room’s ongoing programme.

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Suzanne Treister, Death of the Internet

The gallery notes that drawing can offer a rapidity of response to contemporary concerns which can be lost in more costly productions and this is certainly in evidence in this show. But what makes this collection so exciting is that these are finished works of art in their own right and not sketches or creative stepping stones to other work. Some use the practice of mark-making, whether digital prints to graphite on paper, to explore the politics of everyday graphic design, texts and slogans (Amalia Pica) while others exploit the medium to explore wit, abreaction and figuration.

Contributors include Jonathan Allen, ruby onyinyechi amanze, Art & Language, Ed Atkins, Marc Bauer, Kasper Bosmans, Koen van den Broek, James Capper, Nidhal Chamekh, Milano Chow, Steven Claydon, Ronald Cornelissen, Angela de la Cruz, Richard Deacon, Nicolas Desayes, Mark Dion, Marcel van Eeden, Ed Fornieles, Richard Forster, Margarita Gluzberg, Antony Gormley, Lubaina Himid, Karl Holmqvist, Donna Huddleston, Rachel Howard, Chantal Joffe, Peter Jones, Michael Landy, Brit Meyer, Julian Opie, Cornelia Parker, Eddie Peake, Simon Periton, Grayson Perry, Amalia Pica, Yelena Popova, Matt Saunders, Massinissa Selmani, John Smith, Emma Talbot, Suzanne Treister, Nicola Tyson, Frances Upritchard, Marcus Vater, Julie Verhoeven, Mark Wallinger, Claudia Wieser and Rose Wylie.

#drawingb2017

For more details: https://drawingroom.org.uk/drawingbiennial2017

Exhibition: 2 March – 26 April

Online Auction: 12 – 26 April