Sensory Objects with Access All Areas exhibition at Hackney Museum 2017

Sensory Objects have been collaborating with Access All Areas is an award winning theatre company for adults with learning disabilities based in Hackney, London. We have created an interactive exhibition Madhouse, My House? that will open at Hackney Museum London this Thursday 2nd February 2017 – May 13th 2017 .

Below is an image of the Access All Areas Residents Group  who researched and developed the exhibition with Sensory Objects during a visit to Hackney Museum.

Residents Researchers Hackney

Access All Areas Residents Group Researchers on visit to Hackney Muesum

Below is an image of the flyer.

















Intro panel to the exhibition

Intro panel to the exhibition



Until the 1980s many people with learning disabilities were forced to live in hospitals for ‘idiots’, ‘imbeciles’ and the ‘feeble minded’. Explore life at St. Lawrence’s using the stories of two ex-patients: Harvey Waterman and Mabel Cooper.

This interactive exhibition was researched and created by members of Access All Areas, a Hackney-based theatre company that works with people with learning disabilities.

The exhibition is called ‘MADHOUSE myhouse?’ it is part of  a 3 year digital creative learning programme that accompanies the ‘MADHOUSE re:exit’ production by Access All Areas’ Performance Company. The project explores the history of institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities. From long stay hospitals in 1913 right through to current treatment units.

Below are some pictures of the MadHouse My House Exhibition during installation.


TIMELINE BED History of St Lawrence House from Asylum then Hospital and finally demolition


TIMELINE PERSONAL STORIES of Harvey Waterman and Mabel Cooper















Mabel said the patients were made to wear bedroom slippers so they wouldn’t run away ‘NoEscapeSlippers’


RUFaRO with TOOTHER inspired by research that patients had to share a toothbrush


TOOTHER closeup


PILL BOTTLE WALL Harvey remembered being given big brown pills

Pills close Up

Pills close Up

MadHouse Bin HUNG

MadHouse Bin makes the sound of the Madhouse when you throw away a Mental Health Label saying Imbecile









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