'Take These Hands' is a series of new work by Norwegian artist Stian Ådlandsvik at Milton Keynes Galleryuntil 29 July. It was commissioned as part of the RELAY programme. The exhibition includes fifteen collages developed from photographs belonging to the National Spinal Injuries Centre archive at Stoke Mandeville hospital, and a sculptural installation created from two wheelchairs. The work explores ideas of human mobility and fragility; forms of dependency for disabled and non-disabled people, and our bodily relationship to machinery and technological devices. The materials and objects used to create the works have been dismantled and reconstructed to establish new forms and functions.
It was also supported by the Creative Campus Initiative Take These Hands will tour to Bucks New University in High Wycombe in October 2012. Bucks New is a member of the Creative Campus Initiative The exhibition will be complemented by a short programme of talks and seminars exploring themes including prosthetics and the interactions of body and technology in visual culture.
About the National Spinal Injuries Centre archive. The archive is a collection of photographs and documents, which includes historic images of wards, physio and occupational therapy and medical conditions. It charts the history of the oldest, and one of the largest spinal injuries centres in the world, established by neurosurgeon Sir Ludwig Guttmann in 1944 at Stoke Mandeville hospital. Having revolutionised the treatment and life chances for those with spinal injuries, in 1948 Guttmann organised the ‘Stoke Mandeville Games’ to coincide with the start of the London Olympics, thus sparking the beginning of the Paralympic movement. The National Spinal Injuries Centre collection forms part of the Mandeville Legacy, which comprises the Wheelpower collection and that of the International Wheelchair Sports and Amputees Federation.
Image courtesy Stian Ådlandsvik