Royal Bethlem Hospital


Some questions about us (2019) is a public artwork by Mark Titchner commissioned by Bethlem Gallery’s Mental Health and Justice Project. The artwork is situated just within the Bethlem Royal Hospital perimeter looking out onto Monks Orchard Road.

This new public artwork is the first of a series of works by Titchner that relate to his involvement with the Mental Health and Justice project, a multi-disciplinary research initiative funded by Wellcome. Titchner has been working with the team that are investigating issues around the assessment of mental capacity particularly in relation to complex or contested cases. The issues around the research are complex and relate to legal, ethical and medical questions.

For this work the artist presents a series of mirrored placards that confront the viewer with a direct question. These forthright questions relate to issues around mental capacity and assessment but can also be read more widely around issues of personal autonomy or the individual’s relationship to the state and the fragility of this position.

Two versions of the work will be simultaneously installed on the public boundary of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and at Firstsite in Colchester in July this year before moving on to further venues. Bethlem Gallery and Mark Titchner will be running a series of events inviting mental health service users, local residents and hospital staff to respond to the provocation of Some questions about us.

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