Bedlam : The Art of Graham Houston Volume #1

‘Hunger’, oil on canvas, 120″ X 72″, 1993. This painting was the first thing you would see coming up the stairs to Bedlam Gallery. The audio for this is my own making using programs on an old iMac. My intent was sadness, or perhaps grief.

 Bedlam, the name of my gallery and everything else in my life. But its not just a name. Most people are familiar witht the dictionary definition,disorder and chaotic. Where did it comefrom. The idea, the first mental hospital ever devised was called Saint Mary’s of Bethlehem. It was around 1250 A.D. At least someone somewhere realized we have a problem. Unfortunately it was immediately turned to making money, maybe they had to, to get food, tours of the institute were popular, the word Bedlam soon spread as the way the patients would describe were they were,St. Mary’s of Bethlehem, became Bedlam. And the word itself took on a meaning of its own, chaos, disorder. All this was the point for me, but I was never able to get people to pay to come in the gallery and look at the crazy artists.

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 From famine and war to murder and suicide I have always sought ways which the visual artist could attract the viewer, hold their attention for long enough to see what’s in front of them and prompt a discussion. It’s the temptation of brightly coloured imagery used to create horrifying ideas, human ideas. The domesticated ape, or any other animal we have done this to, has quite a lot of psychological disfunctions, that’s a nice way to say what I mean. You probably guess from the work itself.

This is the link to amazon for the hardcover.