The exhibition Furiously Mad is open to the public from 2 April to 6 July, 10am to 5 pm at the People’s History Museum Manchester.  The official launch is on Saturday 5 April 2014 between 1.00 – 3.30pm.  For events organised for the launch, and how to find us, please visit our website at

Pool Arts explore the history of madness through the mediums of visual, sound, print, video and performance art. The history of madness, especially amongst the working class, has long been shrouded in a sort of mystery and fear not afforded to other working class histories. Pool Arts aim to pull the curtain to reveal some of the always interesting, sometimes shocking truths of how the ‘furiously mad’ have been ‘treated’ over the ages.

Pool Arts’ work includes a revisitation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; a personal dialogue on schizophrenia and an artists representation of homosexuality (previously seen as a mental illness); a furiously mad timeline and much much more! 

The term ‘furiously mad’ dates back 300 years to 1714 when those deemed to be ‘furiously mad’ could for the first time be legally incarcerated. Pool Arts are marking a 300 year hidden history of the locking up of mentally ill people, a practice which is still alive and well today, whilst also celebrating the struggle for equality by those of us described as mentally ill.

Further events during the exhibition include:

  • Artist / Curator Talks  on 24 April, 9 May and 19 June  2.00pm-2.45 (guided tour of the show by artists and curator)
  • Ruqia: Moonatic Performances  on 5 April, 1 May and 22 May at  2.30pm
  • Trae: Stones of Folly Performances on 5 April at 3pm , 22 May at 1pm and 12 June at 2pm
  • Dr Ivan Leudar’s lecture Voices in History on 8 May at 2pm
  • Dr Helen Spandler’s lecture Altertnative Psychiatry and Asylum Magazine  on 5 June at 2pm

Please check your date with the museum before travelling as the community gallery is  occassionally closed for corporate events.

Members of Pool Arts have been engaged in extensive researchincluding trips to Royal Bethlem Hospital Archives and Museum, The British Library, Parliamentary Archives and Greater Manchester County Record Offices.

Pool Arts is a Manchester based organisation where artists receive support with their art practice to help with mental wellbeing, self esteem and reduce isolation. Pool Arts currently offers studio space, mentorship, talks, workshops and peer support amongst other things. Our activities have been funded through small grants such as Grants for The Arts, Lankelly Chase and Awards for All. Furiously Mad 300 Years of Legal Insanity is generously supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces.

For any further information please phone Alison on 0044-(0)7767356302 or email at 

If you would like to find out more about Pool Arts please contact us on 0161 273 1492 or visit


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