I realised today that I last updated this site in 2015, although clearly a great deal has been taking place. I plan to remake or destroy the website this summer, but…
For now, just to mention this excellent event that I’ll be chairing this weekend at the Tate Britain:
Coinciding with Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War I, this panel discussion explores the parallels between the growth and evolution of psychiatry in Britain after the war and the impact of trauma and loss on art and culture across generations.
Focusing on artistic expression and creative experimentation in the years immediately after 1918, this event considers movements such as dada and surrealism that helped reframe post-war cultural imagination. Dada’s rejection of rational thought and exploration of ‘convulsive beauty’ in surrealism were shaped by artists’ memories and experiences of the war, leaving long-lasting and powerful traces on the mind. Simultaneously, the ‘New Psychology’ emerged as an alternative to traditional asylum psychiatry in the aftermath of war in the UK.
The panel will draw connections between artists’ responses to trauma, hysteria and loss and the influence of ‘New Psychology’, and the impact still seen today.