EXHIBITION | Talking Sense at The Portico Library | view online ‘tour’

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain

Exhibition Dates | Friday 17 January – Monday 13 April 2020

Venue | The Portico Library, Manchester – TEMPORARILY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE (see the link below for an online ‘tour’)


Artists include: Quinza Ashraf, Maureen Callaghan, Amy Ellison, Danielle Dalton, Sally Hirst, Malik Jama, Horace Lindezey, Ahmed Mohammed and Olivia Morgan. VA artist tutor and artist Louisa Hammond will also feature.


Fifty artists. Fifty minds. Fifty artworks in paint, film, sculpture and print.


The vocabulary we use to describe mental and emotional experience is changing. With attitudes shifting towards compassion in policy and treatment, terms such as wellbeing, recovery and mental health are being re-examined, and their connotations questioned. Words like neurodiversity have emerged to describe the world of mind and brain/thought and feeling in a less stigmatising way – but studying the neurological is just one part of developing our understanding. Societies are responsible for distress and disability, and our behaviours between each other shape our lives.


The standard guide for most psychologists, psychiatrists and services remains the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ – first published in 1952. In the exhibition ‘Talking Sense’, fifty artworks, are paired with fifty phrases created by jumbling the contents of this textbook’s most recent edition, whose terminology and methodology have been criticised by professionals and survivors of harmful treatments. By reorganising this language and juxtaposing it with eclectic artworks we hope to open up a space for helpful conversations around the future of care.


Whilst the venue is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus situation, you can take a virtual ‘tour’ of the exhibition here.