Tuesday, 4 May 2010


The maze-like corridor systems of asylums for the mentally ill remind me of the twists and angles of a labyrinth, ultimately the patients entered through the same grandiose administration blocks, with the repeated clock towers' eye recording the moment, and mostly they stayed there till death, living out the same daily patterns, a series of monotonous movements designed to instill a sense of quiet unquestioning confusion.

Once at High Royds asylum, I climbed through a broken window while my friend waited outside. As I stood inside the corridor waiting for her to step through the sash window slid upwards of its own accord. We carried on regardless, she stepped through the portal as if nothing had happened, although a fear lay inside me of what would happen if the sash flew back down with some kind of supernatural force.

I have wandered those corridors for many hours looking for a mirror that shows me who I really am. The way we search in each other's souls for a deeper truth than we see in our own, a sentence more poignant for its distance from our own hand. Those we have lost we immortalise in moments that are tied to these places. Upon returning to the ever-decreasing maze of passageways left at the hospital I recalled conversations, episodes of time which replay in my mind as I walked through thorn-littered hallways. The ghosts lost in a dream High Royds are very familiar, the place I know in my sleep has windows which close behind us and never let us leave, trapped together in a comic tableaux of our own creation. We left a stain on the slab which cannot be washed clean.

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