JUSTIN KONSTAM UNTITLED
Until 30 June
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
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,