becky warnock

Layers: Painting Mental Heath

Diana Keys is an artist, gradually she painted a new, beautiful fantasy world in which she was able to exist, free from the restrictions and definitions of the asylum system she was a part of for 25 years. Her council flat is her creation. This is our collaboration. 

They were called Natsbury Hospital and Hill End Hospital 

My strongest memory of hospital was watching my youth fade, though I didn't know it, I was watching my youth fade. But I didn't know from that experience that I would be 25 years in hospital. That is my strongest memory.

All the hospitals are gone ain't they; they've disappeared. It could never be the same again because the law wouldn't allow it to be like that again. 

I would explain my life like a dark tunnel. I've now just got to the end of that tunnel and experiencing new things like a child. Im experiencing things like that really. 

Even more than it does today, because they have all the computers and I'll never be able to use them in my life, because I don't know how to use them and there's all different things being made every day. 

It's different and I'll never be able to be part of that life so I'm catching up on the life I've missed not on the life that is now.

The tunnel is a very dark area...going through it there's nothing there. 

Maybe a few little animals scarpered out the way on my journey through it. But, then, all of a sudden this little light came at the end and after this long journey and I run towards it and it was just like horses escaping. Horses escaping into freedom. 

It's a mixture of feelings that are sort of feelings that regret, which is cold and unfeeling and a mixture of fear which is also cold but then there were good times. There were little parts in the tunnel that gave me a break and they were warm. But then you hit the darkness again and the journey continued for quite a long time until I managed to get out like those horses. 

The good times were when I made friends with people in there. And the little social things they done.

And walking in the grounds when I was allowed out. And things like that. 

But they were very brief. And didn't last long. It was mostly dark all the way. 

I like being outside in the fields. I go for walks. I like the feeling of being outside. 

I think it was about a year after I left I started painting. After I left hospital. But I relived the journey. 

I relive it all of my life. I don't think I'll ever forget it. It's always with you. 

It's like people who fight in a war. They never forget that experience. They can't forget it. They might put it behind them in their minds and live life as naturally as they can. But its not and I'm the same with the experiences I've had in my life, you know? 

Ill never forget it. It will always be there. 

In my mind. 

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