Portraits: Patients and Psychiatrists explore creativity in treatment at the Freud Museum

By Tara May Culpin | 21 July 2010
A picture of an etching of an elderly woman

Artist Emma Anderson has worked with psychiatrist Dr Tim McInery for the Freud's latest show

Exhibition: Portraits: Patients and Psychiatrists, Freud Museum, London, until August 22 2010

From Bedlam to Broadmoor, psychiatric treatment developed in the 20th Century, reaching a point where rather than suffering eye-to-eye distance measurements or scrupulous examination, psychosis patients were being encouraged to be creative in order to aid their recovery.

A new collaboration is seeking to restore creativity as a means of expression while portraying the intimate relationships between a doctor and their patients.

Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Tim McInery and artist Emma Anderson have worked together extensively, resulting in this new show at the Freud.

A picture of an etching of a man in a shirt

The collaboration aims to encourage creativity activities as a form of therapy

The etched portraits take the rare mediums of copper and Japanese inks by Anderson, who began developing her style whilst studying printmaking at the Royal College of Art.

The works are a window into the lives of both doctors and patients, with little distinction established between the two. They are made more personal by the inclusion of the subjects' interests, experiences and thoughts, creating a sensitive exploration.

This is thought to be the first project of its scale which seeks to show patients and doctors side-by-side, being treated equally.

"These portraits of patients and their psychiatrists relate to the story of mental disorder and its historical representation," says Anderson.

"The images are a visual metaphor for the therapeutic relationships that exist between doctors and patients in mental health settings."

Open 12pm – 5pm Wednesday – Sunday. Admission £6.

Gemma Anderson and Tim McInerny are joined by William Schupbach from the Wellcome Library and playwright Stephen Brown for a talk tonight (July 21), 7pm-9pm.

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