21 Years, 2 Months, 24 Days
My great, great grandfather, Charles Benson died alone in a hospital ward in 1937. All that physically remains from his 79-year life is his hospital file, tied together with a white ribbon, wrapped in butchers paper and stored in the State’s archives. Headlined on the front cover of Charles’s file is the word, ‘insanity’. By contextualising the few known traces of my great, great grandfather within an historic framework and understanding of the times, I have sought to become my great, great grandfather’s proxy. In doing so, 21 years, 2 months, 24 days explores what can be reasonably imagined as the lived experience of my stigmatised and subsequently abandoned and forgotten ancestor.