Exhibitions – Justin Konstam Untitled

    JUSTIN KONSTAM UNTITLED

    Until 30 June
    Maudsley Hospital,
    Camberwell, London

    Star Rating: 4/5

    Recently the Maudsley psychiatric hospital has become a popular
    space for exhibiting the artwork of people who have had mental
    health problems and the self-taught artist Justin Konstam is the
    latest, writes Mark Drinkwater.

    Konstam has more than 50 paintings on display, most in bold
    primary colours painted in oils or gouache (a painting medium in
    which watercolour is mixed with opaque white pigment).

    This is an unpretentious exhibition where all the art is, for
    once, modestly priced.

    At the launch Konstam was on hand to talk visitors through the
    artwork which he described as “outsider” art.

    While not professionally trained as an artist, the work appeared
    popular with visitors and several works were purchased on the
    opening night.

    The exhibition runs concurrently with a group art show that is
    exhibited in the main corridor of the hospital – demonstrating the
    Maudsley’s commitment to celebrating and promoting the talents of
    people with mental health problems.

    As a result, visitors get to participate in the hospital in a
    different way to how they normally would.

    There are still a lot of negative stereotypes about psychiatric
    hospitals and people with mental health problems. This exhibition
    should go some way to addressing some of these.

    Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in Southwark,
    London.

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