The therapeutic use of art in British psychiatric institutions from as early as the 19th century will be showcased as part of a major new arts and mental health exhibition at Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts Centre.
Art in the Asylum: creativity and the evolution of psychiatry looks at the key role British psychiatric institutions played in using art as part of the humane treatment of people with mental health problems. With over 100 loans from national and international archives, the exhibition traces the historical shift from invasive treatments of mental disorders to a more humane regime in which creativity played a significant role.
Highlights will include work from the collection of the ‘grandfather of art therapy’, Edward Adamson, at the Netherne Hospital in Surrey from 1946, and the free expression of residents at Kingsley Hall in London, a therapeutic community established by Dr. R. D. Laing in the 1960s. The exhibition also includes work by Richard Dadd and Louis Wain, representing some of the most well-known patient art associated with the Bethlem Royal Hospital, or ‘Bedlam’.
Art in the Asylum: creativity and the evolution of psychiatry is open 10am - 5pm, and entry is free. A complete list of exhibitions and events is available on the Lakeside Arts website.
Johann Hauser (ca. 1969) Königin Elisabeth [Queen Elizabeth] Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne.© Privatstiftung-Künstler aus Gugging. Photo: Claude Bornand
Louis Wain (ca. 1933) untitled, courtesy of Henry Boxer gallery