Review: The Barometer of my Heart, Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre

There are no words.

Literally, there are no words, as this extravagant piece of visual art unfolds through the corridors and empty wards of a modern hospital. Within the confines of the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre, we follow Mark Storor’s sculptural story The Barometer of my Heart as we pass artefacts of his visual intentions.

A man in a suit with black cloth over his face, holding a bird cage suspended with twisted cloth, greets us; a naked man with cling film covering the vegetables that represent his bones and internal organs has his ‘skin’ cut in front of our eyes… These are just some of the sights we pass, before entering a world of expressionism and intricacy. Storer uses light, sound and colour to reflect the bizarre yet captivating sequences which both entice and confuse audiences.

However, it appears that these artifacts were inspired by real conversations with men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, a case which affects 40% of men in their lifetimes. Storor shows us that it’s something that should be looked at and focused on, rather than being shied away from.  The piece as a whole represents an ‘exploration of masculinity and potency’, and how this affects the physical and mental health through the merge of art and science. However, it seeks to steer away from providing itself as a health campaign as such, more so an expression of emotion through heightened physical and artistic experimentation.

The performance itself was truly astonishing. The actors had total focus that you really believed you were in some sort of medical frenzy. Their concentration throughout the piece was phenomenal and they all totally committed to the art, intention and the piece. The imagery that was created was oddly beautiful. Scenes filled with talcum powder, soil and even cake were taken so seriously that it made the audience feel completely entranced in the creations.

It’s safe to say that I have never seen anything like this, and probably won’t ever do again. This unique and extroverted form of art is unusual, yet one to be admired for its bravery and distorted truth. You cannot deny he shock factor involved, but it is so involving that it becomes almost entrancing. For a production that has taken so long in planning, it’s clear that The Barometer of my Heart is a bold and daring piece that will be remembered by any who view it.

The Barometer of my heart is playing at the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre until  4th October. For more information and tickets, see the Arts Admin website.  Photo by Stephen King.