Madhouse My House? exhibition opening night 2nd Feb 2017

















Last night Madhouse My House? opened at Hackney Museum. Co-researchers from Access All Areas presented their research and the ideas that Sensory Objects have developed with them to create a sensory interactive exhibition.

The group explained their ideas for the exhibition and told the story of Mabel Cooper and Harvey Waterman who has just celebrated his 80th birthday remembered what it was like to be in St Lawrence’s Hospital.

The exhibition is just the start of a series of events that will tell the story of the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities.

We were introduced to artists who will continue the work with perfomances at Shoreditch Town Hall, top left in the photo below and right Ciara Brennan – Associate Director – Access All Areas introduces Professor Jan Walmsley who emphasised that while it is important to raise awareness of the history of people with learning disabilities, the situation continues to be problematic with many people still in private care homes, many continue to be isolated, in their own homes because of cuts in social care and face few opportunities for employment. This was further emphasised by Nick Llewellyn – Artistic Director of Access All Areas who quoted from a newspaper article in the Guardian that warns that there are plans to open up large institutions to WAREHOUSE  people who can’t afford home care.


Artist and Co-reseachers from Access All Areas introducing the exhibition


Access All Areas Co-researchers



























Images of visitors at the opening night Co-reserachers gave visitors tours of the exhibition.
















Reactions on Twitter


Twitter PIC MadHouse OPENING

Twitter Opening

Twitter Opening

Twitter mad housebin

Twitter madhouse bin

TwitterMadHouse Opening

TwitterMadHouse Opening

Twitter Terrie at exihibiton

Twitter Terry at the exhibition












































































Graham demos the No Escape Slippers


Graham Points to No Escape Slippers

Graham Points to No Escape Slippers
























Charlene demos Tooth Brusher below and finally the Easy Read Programme for the exhibition including the Madhouse Wiki

Charlene demo toothbrusher

Charlene demos Tooth Brusher














Easy Read Madhouse Exhbition

Easy Read Madhouse Exhibition

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