Once I came this way – Blog and Poems on the old Asylums

This was a blog I wrote, and first appeared, on the Wellcome Collection’s blog site about its ‘Bedlam: Beyond The Asylum’ exhibition.

Wellcome Collection Blog

‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ interrogates the original ideal that the asylum represented – a place of refuge, sanctuary and care – and asks whether and how it could be reclaimed. This blog series intends to showcase as many different voices and perspectives from people with lived experience of mental ill health and explore their ideas of personal asylum.

This post is from David Gilbert, a poet we invited to write for the series after he posted his poems on Twitter in response to the exhibition.

Museums are about the past. Objects are behind glass. It is safe to walk about between objects of curiosity and then go for a cup of tea and scones, and talk to friends: “That was nice. Interesting. I liked the way they… put it together”.

However, I wasn’t sure about visiting the ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ exhibition.

A few weeks beforehand, I’d had…

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