Lund City

Another world - art from Sankt Lars hospital

In the exhibition Another world - art from Sankt Lars hospital shows approximately 70 works of art created by patients admitted to Sankt Lars Hospital, from the 1880s and a hundred years onwards. The patient-created creations are exciting and evocative material with imagination-provoking motifs and unexpected compositions. In Swedish, concepts such as "weird art" or "patient art" have been used for this type of art.

All the objects are part of Region Skåne's medical history collection, which Kulturen manages on behalf of Region Skåne. To call the works patient art is in a sense correct, as they are created by patients admitted to the hospital. At the same time, they testify to a desire to create and a desire for communication that is of a general human nature.

In some cases, the authors, for example Carl Fredrik Hill and Ernst Ljungh, have an artistic education behind them. What many of the works have in common is that they have left the traditional visual world behind.

Materials available at the hospital

Many of the works have been created based on the materials found at the hospital. For example, the hospital's red marking thread is widely used. At the same time, the approach to a more free, artistic creation has depended on the department in which the patients were cared for. In the hospital's first-class wards, there was good access to materials for needlework. This is because this type of work was seen as part of the readjustment to everyday life outside the hospital walls.

In the general departments, however, the attitude was more restrictive. There, the patients would first and foremost devote themselves to useful things that contributed to the hospital's operation and self-maintenance.

From the interest of medical science to that of artists

The fact that the species were originally saved is partially explained by the fact that medical science began to take an interest in them from a medical perspective during the late 1800th century. Works were collected and analyzed, but the scientific results were not forthcoming. Interest in "the art of the insane" was instead picked up by another group - artists. The odd, deviant and unique were desirable within the avant-garde art movements that emerged at the beginning of the 1900th century.

In the 1940s, the French artist Jean Dubuffet formulated a manifesto in which he highlighted the "raw art" ("l'art brut") as an ideal for the entire art world. In 1972, the first English-language book on the art form was published, Roger Cardinals outside art.

Saint Lars Hospital

During the second half of the 1800th century, large so-called mental hospitals began to be built in Sweden. One of them was Lund's hospital, which was completed in 1879. The patients would no longer just be confined, but offered care, fresh air and rest in a bright and orderly environment. Pretty soon it became clear that many patients could not be cured. Therefore, in 1891 an "Asylum" was opened south of Höje å. Those who were considered incurable were placed there. In 1931, the hospital changed its name to Sankt Lars Hospital.

The exhibition is produced by Kulturen in Lund.

Dates, Times, Location

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  • The culture in Lund
  • The culture in Lund

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