The Museum of Lost and Found Potential launches today on World Mental Health Day to explore what possibilities can open up when people are supported in their mental health battle, and the doors that close to those who aren’t. The interactive exhibition of video and sound works and everyday artefacts assembles to create eclectic portraits of 16 individuals from around the world, each with a story to tell about how mental health issues have affected their lives. These have been created by an artistic team led by Nestor Pestana, who told The Guardian: “The whole exhibition is about empathy.”
Stories include accounts from survivors of suicide, stories of those lost to suicide, and the loved ones dealing with their loss. The World Health Organisation estimates that every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. In the UK, suicide rates rose by almost 12 per cent in 2018, the first rise in seven years.
The exhibition has been organised as part of Speak Your Mind, United for Global Mental Health’s campaign to encourage people to open up about their issues, in partnership with HSBC. Curator Andy Franzkowiak – who has previously worked on numerous exhibitions bringing together science and arts – says in a video about the show: “It’s a museum that talks about the fact that because mental health support wasn’t in people’s lives, they lost the ability to achieve things they hoped to. Also, it does bring in the fact that, through the right support, people have gone on and achieved things.” Andy worked with exhibition designers Nissen Richards Studio, and a team of artists, sound and lighting designers.
Overall, the exhibition’s goal is to demand investment in research and action from world leaders to improve mental health support globally.
The Museum of Lost and Found Potential opens today (10 October) until 15 October 2019 at Unit 6, Covent Garden, London, before travelling internationally.