James Paddock: LIFE COULD BE DONE SO MUCH BETTER, at Exeter Phoenix.18th November 2023 - 4th February 2024
Location: Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS
JAMES PADDOCK: LIFE COULD BE DONE SO MUCH BETTER
A solo exhibition of new video and installation works by artist James Paddock who explores the reality of Voice Hearing to create an insightful dialogue about his experience of living with a diagnosis of “schizophrenia”.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is an operatic video, “Mirrored to the Core”, a love story about two young Voice Hearers whose telepathic dialogue is represented through song.
An adjacent installation, “A duo becomes a quartet”, is inspired by the artist’s experience of mental illness treatment. It includes a new film that tells the story of two Voice Hearers who have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, alongside a series of T-shirts printed with slogans reflecting on Voice Hearers’ experiences and on how things could be improved.
A further new video, “The way in which we journey”, displays a bittersweet tale of what Paddock describes as the celebration of finding an equilibrium as a Voice Hearer and the misdirected view of Voice Hearing in society.
Throughout, Paddock aims to address the stigma around mental health, specifically for Voice Hearers, while exploring the universality of the human condition hoping to reduce prejudices that have plagued Voice Hearers past and present.
The exhibition was developed in partnership with curator Lisa Slominski and is supported by Arts Council England