Art + History | Bethlem Gallery | ORTUS

Our Future Likes

Exploring the complexities of the lives we live on and offline and ways it can be damaging to our mental health

The exhibition reveals how some artists and young people in our society are taking the lead, creating art that explores how we can make the internet a more positive and contemplative space. And also, how we can begin to take charge of our futures within it.

Contributors: Alexandra Leigh, Art Assassins (South London Gallery’s young people’s group) and Lloyd Corporation, Daniel Regan and young people from Bethlem Adolescent Unit, Dolly Sen, Gabrielle de la Puente (White Pube), Jack Burrus-Coomber, Katherine Melmoth and Charlotte Hooley, Love People Support Bethlem (a collective of students from Langley Park School for Boys), Lisa Biles, Max Reeves and young people from Raw Material.

Our Future Likes on tour, Bethlem Gallery exhibition at ORTUS

Some young people at the Bethlem Adolescent Unit describe their weekly two-hours of internet time as time to “cry and [socially] die”, where scrolling through curated presentations of other people’s ‘perfect lives’ on Instagram, leaves them feeling low, isolated and excluded. Psychologist Naz Wagle at the hospital, describes the quandary being faced: “at a time of massive losses and fracturing in life, could there be some advantage in maintaining these new forms of connection; might engagement with social media act as a pressure release, a way to seek validation, or to sublimate difficult stuff into another way of expressing, what we have for millennia through a myriad of art forms, whether that’s a 280 character tweet or a picture on Instagram?”.

The exhibition theme has been developed with young people and staff at the Bethlem Adolescent Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital.

About the ORTUS

This event is hosted at the ORTUS, a RIBA award winning building at the Maudsley Hospital site. The state-of-the-art events and conferencing facility is available for hire through ortusevents.com, in addition to the building hosts an award winning café and hotdesking workspace.

The ORTUS is also the home of the Maudsley Charity, the independent NHS charity for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and the principal funder of Bethlem Gallery.

The Maudsley Charity recognises the essential role the arts play in health, recovery and education. We fund projects including the Bethlem Gallery and Museum, that play a vital role in providing access to the arts in healthcare environments and engage audiences in learning and debate.”