Future Exhibitions

David Parkin’s Delusions of Grandeur

23rd September – 10th November, 2023

Charming, funny and bracingly direct. – Stephen Fry 

‘David Parkin’s Delusions of Grandeur’ is an immersive installation that tells you everything you didn’t want to know about being sectioned.’ 

In 2015 David suffered his first bipolar manic episode. Listen to songs he wrote and recorded while in the Bradgate Unit, read about moments in the ward (such as escaping to the Champagne Bar, falling madly and obsessively in love, and being punched by a fellow inmate), also check out his alternative vision of seclusion.

Funny, sprawling, heartbreaking, and fearless, ‘David Parkin’s Delusions of Grandeur’ lives up to its name in all respects.

​NOTE: Contains strong language and material of a sensitive nature. Advisory age: 16 +

Trigger warnings:


Kate Unwin – Design 
Loz Atkinson – Visual Artist
David Conrad Dhonau – Sound
Tim Sayers & Lydia Towsey – Arts in Mental Health Coordinators (Leicester Partnership NHS Trust)

Supported by: Arts Council England, Leicester Partnership NHS Trust, Attenborough Arts Centre, LCB Depot, Two Queens Gallery and Leicester Gallery, De Montfort University.


11th October: David talks with Nikki Mattocks. Chaired by Lydia Towsey  

Nicki is a queer, disabled 26-year-old freelance lived experience consultant and public speaker who, like Dave, has been sectioned. She works with organisations and charities to ensure lived experience is at the heart of policy, services and events.

She lives with multiple mental health conditions, and her narrative used to be defined more by the medical model. Now she prefers to see her issues in line with the psycho-social model and the trauma informed model of mental health. 

She’ll be talking to Dave and Lydia about the reality of sectioning and the hope for a better model in the future. 

13th October: Good Friday (the clinical depression concept album show). 

Moving, charming and devastatingly honest, Good Friday deals with a troubling issue in an approachable and entertaining way. With tunes. And gags.

In 2009, David Parkin suffered from clinical depression. As he recovered, he taught himself how to play the piano and found himself writing an album about his breakdown. With help from multi-instrumentalist, Dave Dhonau, David presents the album in his own inimitable, charismatic way.

Chatting between songs he tells us of the breakdown and of the love affair between man and piano that blossomed as he wrote the album.

“That from such terrible pain something so beautiful, simple and life affirming could emerge is staggering. I still think it’s a fantastic bit of work.”- Peter Wyeth

Buy tickets here:

25th October: David talks with Chris Slowe and Tara Gatherer. Chaired by Lydia Towsey  

Chris and Tara are two of David’s closest friends, who visited him when he was under section. They’ll be talking about the moments of horror and hilarity involved in supporting someone during a manic bipolar episode: having to listen to Dave sing songs while heavily sedated, making friends with other patients and being there when the high ended and the depression began. 

8th of November: David talks to rapper Ricky C. Chaired by Lydia Towsey. 
Ricky (C) Smith was sectioned at the same time as David, a total of three times between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-five. He is a musician performing in Europe and various venues in the UK with three million plus views. His diagnosis is Bi-Polar type disorder which is managed by Lithium. Please check out his album “The Story So Far” on YouTube or streaming platforms here: