Between 1870-1995 Leavesden Country Park housed Leavesden Hospital. When it was built it was called ‘Leavesden asylum for idiots and imbeciles’. During the 19th century the mentally ill and people with learning disabilities were classified as ‘idiots’ and ‘imbeciles’. In 1920 the hospital was renamed ‘Leavesden mental hospital’, and in 1959 it became ‘Leavesden hospital’. During the WW1 and WW2 an annex of the hospital was used as an emergency hospital, and in 1943 the annexe was taken over by Canadian soldiers and nurses. Later on the annex was called Abbots Langley hospital. As its biggest the hospital provided beds for over 2000 patients.
NEON were selected to create 3 sculptural art works to celebrate the heritage of the hospitals. NEON researched the history through a series of workshops and conversations with the local people and the people who used to work at the hospitals. There were three reoccurring narratives which kept coming up in the conversations, each became a focus for one of the artworks.