Film: 3726

Medicine | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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Art therapy. Internal art studio of St Marylebone Hospital for Psychiatry and Child Guidance, London 1960's

Art used as a medical therapy. Examples of paintings and their meanings, with voice-over from the patients. Camera follows art therapist E.M. Lyddiatt around the art room as she organizes supplies.
The camera does not show the faces of he female outpatient artists, but we do see their hands and arms. They talk about the meanings of their paintings and clay models. Patients display art. Some pictures show "great isolation and loneliness". Barbed wire in pictures protects the artist patient. Other pictures show turmoil. A bird is a symbol of freedom - what a particular patient wants more than anything. Painting of fishing net. Abstract art. Hands modelling clay. A model of St. Peter. Painting models, glazed models. A model of a wizard indicated the artist was very depressed when she made it, but having made it the artist felt better. Model of the devil who is not all bad. He holds the patient in his arms. Whitewash poured over model suspended over basin. Dirty paint bowls. The female psychiatric art therapist on the telephone. She fetches art materials from cupboards. She prepares clay. Painting a pot. Pot removed from kiln. Models in a kiln.
Female nurse painting. They wear full uniform and we see their faces. Patient explains her art which tells a story in ten or more pictures. This involves exposure to a bad male figure, but he is eventually overcome and another being is created out of him. A smiling animal face is painted. Picture of woman on bench with birds and a butterfly. Model of a man-eating salmon. Rather abstract painting of a female nude.

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