Delusions of Grandeur

22 April – 22 July 2022
Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Multidisciplinary artist David Parkin presents a funny and fearless installation that tells you everything you didn’t want to know about being sectioned.
This exhibition was supported by Arts Council England, Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Leicester Partnership NHS Trust, G Sian of Change Makers, Attenborough Arts Centre and Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (University of Leicester). It was originally due to open two years ago but was postponed due to COVID-19, so we are thrilled to finally see the exhibition come to life at Bethlem Museum of the Mind.
Delusions of Grandeur is a multidisciplinary installation that explores David Parkin’s stay at the NHS after he suffered his first bi-polar manic episode in 2015 and was sectioned for four months. After the commission  premiered in 2019 at the Attenborough Arts Centre to an overwhelming public response, it became one of the art centre’s most personal and honest shows  and was scheduled to be shown in London.
Step inside of David’s mind and listen to songs he crafted while in the Bradgate Mental Health Unit, read about moments in the ward like escaping to a Champagne Bar, falling in love and being punched by a fellow inmate. Warning: this is an honest piece of art that includes extreme scenes of mental distress, suicide and sexual pleasure.

David is an author, theatre maker, musician and installation artist who has had a long standing relationships with AAC over many years. His work is extremely autobiographical, from his children’s book and musical ‘The Nose That Nobody Picked’ to ‘Good Friday’, an album that starts with a suicide attempt and ends with the words ‘It’s good to be alive’.

Find Out More

Explore the sections below to learn more about the exhibition, David Parkin’s work and how you can offer your support.

Open Wednesday to Friday 10am – 5pm and the first and last Saturday of each month 10am – 5pm.

Facebook: /delusionsofgrandeur2022
Instagram: /davidparkinartist and /delusions_ofgrandeur_art
Twitter: /daveparkin

Dave Parkin is currently raising money for his book, Delusions of Grandeur, on Kickstarter

This Kickstarter is to raise funds to print the accompanying book to the exhibition. It contains the full text boards, extracts from Dave’s, ‘Mad little notebook’ written under section and doctors’ notes that offer a somewhat different view of David’s experience. From being punched by a fellow inmate to escaping to a Champagne Bar, the book will tell you everything you didn’t want to know about getting sectioned.

On a serious note, this book will enlighten people about sectioning, open debate about mental health care and, due to its swift readable sections, will be great to read on the toilet.

Click here to learn more.

In 2015 David Parkin suffered his first bipolar manic episode and was sectioned for four months. In this funny, surreal and shocking podcast, Dave describes his experience. He’ll talk you through falling madly and obsessively in love, escaping to a champagne bar, getting punched by a fellow inmate and being thrown in seclusion.
Possibly one of society’s last taboos, Parkin shines a light on sectioning in an honest, charming and bracingly direct way.

Click here to listen to David Parkin’s Podcast, hosted on Spotify.