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Real life art from the heart

PUBLISHED: 17:54 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:45 16 August 2010

AN ARIST who spent most of his adult life in psychiatric hospitals has painted pictures from his experiences for a new art exhibition. David Beales, 54, hopes his collection, entitled Asylum and Society, will break down prejudices against the mentally i

AN ARIST who spent most of his adult life in psychiatric hospitals has painted pictures from his experiences for a new art exhibition.

David Beales, 54, hopes his collection, entitled Asylum and Society, will break down prejudices against the mentally ill.

He said: "The stories of my first hand experience give a unique insight into life within psychiatric health care

"I have been painting and drawing since I was a child. When I was 21 I was admitted to Farnborough Psychiatric Unit .

"I was in and out of different hospitals for nearly 20 years, until I was discharged into the community as part of the Care in the Community programme in the early 1990s.

"I wanted to confront the issue of prejudice against the mentally ill by using illustration and captions to raise awareness."

The exhibition runs until September 10 and is on show by appointment only at the Bethlem Gallery, Royal Bethlem Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham. Call 0203 228 4835 or seethe website www.bethlemgallery.com.


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