Gemma Anderson

June 21, 2010

http://www.freud.org.uk/exhibitions/72953/patients-portraits-and-psychiatrists/

7 July 2010 – 22 August 2010

Gemma Anderson

Patients; Portraits and Psychiatrists

Patients, Portraits and Psychiatrists is a series of portraits of psychiatric patients and their doctors. The exhibition forms the culmination of a Wellcome Trust Arts Award winning collaboration between artist Gemma Anderson and forensic psychiatrist Dr Tim McInerny, and is touring various venues in summer 2010 following a launch in June at the Bethlem Archives.

Throughout the development of psychiatry there has always been an association with the arts. It could be argued that the most fundamental creative relationship has been with the visual arts as a means of understanding mental disorder, as a representation of the social and morale decline that is associated with it, as a form of treatment and as a means of expression for the patient.

Gemma Anderson and Dr McInerny wanted to explore this relationship in a manner that related to the story of mental disorder and its historical representation that also was a visual metaphor for the therapeutic alliances that run between doctors and patients in mental health settings.

In psychiatry/psychotherapy the stories that patients carry with them are often distressing and violent. How does the psychiatrist hear such tragedies and how can they process them into meaningful therapy?

The 20th Century led to the development of the creative therapies as a form of expression and a path towards recovery. In its turn outsider art has become a representation of the psychiatric patient’s role in society and in the mid-20th Century a representation of the anti-psychiatry movement as championed by Foucault and R D Laing.

Hear Gemma in interview with BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mindprogramme from 15 June 2010.

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