Art As Healing

By Edward Adamson


A first flip through Edward Adamson’s Art as Healing feels strangely like peeking at a carefully illustrated private journal.

Closer examination reveals a unique collection of psychological art – derived from Adamson’s efforts at an asylum in South London, England, where he was the artist in residence for over 30 years. Countercurrent to the depersonalising rituals of institutional life, he managed to bring the luxury of artistic expression, including drawing, painting and sculpture, to hundreds of patients. Somber walls acquired intricate murals such as “Noah’s Ark” by a group in the anti-social ward, and studios, each fully equipped with private painting units: an easel, a side table and artists’ materials, ere set up.

The book contains a special sample of the patient’s artwork, reproduced alongside lucid and insightful explanations of their case histories. From dumbness to speech, from withdrawal to emotional wellness, from violence to calm, each metamorphosis is documented in the colourful visual language of the unconscious. This tour through the corridors of human emotion, at turns bizarre and beautiful, horrific and saddening, removes some of the social stigma attached to mental illness by showing us glimpses into worlds which, at times, remind us of our own.

In stock

Category: Tags: , ,