This is a sponsored post in partnership with Wellcome Collection.
The Japanese word ‘Souzou’ has two meanings depending on the way in which it is written. Written one way, it means creation and written the other way, it means imagination. At Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan, visitors can enjoy a diverse collection comprising of ceramics, textiles, paintings, sculpture and drawings. But what forms the beating heart of the exhibition is that the 300+ works have been created by 46 artists who are all residents and day attendees at social welfare institutes across Japan.
This month is your last opportunity to visit this uniquely provoking exhibition and to coincide with its ending, Wellcome Collection is putting on two extra events allowing visitors to further explore the ideas, stigmas and interest surrounding Outsider Art.
On Thursday 13 and Saturday 15 June, you have the opportunity to learn more about the issues raised in the exhibition, such as mental health, autism and learning disabilities, whilst making your own textile-based artworks. A hands-on workshop, you will be able to work with a range of different materials and learn various basic techniques such as appliqué and embroidery. Explore ideas about occupational therapy, creativity and how the availability of material impacts on the making process.
If you favour a more hands-off approach, then on Saturday 15 June there is a discussion on the notion of Outsider Art from three different perspectives — Roger Cardinal, an art critic who coined the term ‘Outsider Art’, Shamita Sharmacharja, curator of Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan, and Dr David O’Flynn, a consultant psychiatrist. Outsider Art is defined as art created by self-taught artists perceived to be on the margins of society; hear about early psychiatrists’ interest in art as a diagnostic tool, how attitudes towards Outsider Art are changing, and how it is still perceived in psychiatry and the arts.
Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan runs until 30 June at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE. Admission is free. From Fluffy Embroidery to Found Materials takes place on Thursday 13 June at 2-4pm and 6-8pm, and Saturday 15 June at 10.30am-12.30pm and 2-4pm. Outsider Art Under Analysis takes place Saturday 15 June 3-4.30pm. All special events are free and should be booked in advance via Wellcome Collection’s website or on 020 7611 2222.