Main Entrance (b&w)

Melissa Kirkham

Seymour, Australia

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Artist's Description

This is the original entrance back in the day, and what a site it would have been back then. Beautifully landscaped gardens a building of pure magnificence,

Aradale was built in 1863 and closed in 1993, it was a little town of it’s own, housing a piggery, petrol station, fire station, live in staff buildings, laundromats and much more.
As like most other buildings built in this era the design was European. Aradale was built for and housed the “insane”, being a term loosely used for anyone who suffered any form of malaise, depression, uncertainty of life and also very sadly, the mentally disabled or as was once known “retarded”.

Back in the 1800’s we must remember that there was no diagnosis for depression and also the now known illnesses of bi-polar, schizophrenia, borderline personality and so on. There were also no drugs to treat any type of mental illness and often the doctors and nurses would resort to very strange treatments which are now considered (and rightly so) barbaric.

With a 85% mortality rate Aradale was known as the place to go and die. Common treatments applied were the use of the now out-dated Lobotomy operation and also ECT (electro convulsive therapy). No doubt in the later years insulin induced coma therapy would have also been applied as has been reported in many psychicatric institutions within Victoria. These treatments are well reported to be nothing less than destructive.

Since the closure of Aradale, NMIT has taken over the ownership and currently use the land and a few smaller buildings for a lavendar farm, and the police use the land for training. At one stage they did want to turn this beautiful building into a full resort with golf course and more but it fell through. It is a shame to see such a stunning building go into such a state of disrepair, the history all gone and not one thing left to show us all just how lucky we are today.

Unfortunately I am not to great at taking photo’s and only got a few “decent” ones.

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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