West Sussex Record Office and Outside In have been awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust of £46,023 to preserve an archive which offers a rare insight into the use of art therapy as a form of treatment.
Outside In is a charity which supports artists who find it difficult to access the art world for reasons including health, disability, isolation or social circumstance.
The Vawdrey Archive comprises approximately 194 paintings produced by patients in art therapy sessions run by Dr Brian Vawdrey between 1951 to 1971 and a copy of Vawdrey’s illustrated thesis, ‘Art in Analysis’.
The archive is an unusual record of early art therapy work which provides an important insight into the therapeutic process and has the potential to offer a unique perspective on the development of art therapy as a discipline.
This funding will enable the Record Office, in partnership with Outside In, to catalogue, preserve, and digitise this archive, eventually making the catalogue and digitised images available online.
A series of consultation sessions involving Outside In artists who have had lived experience of mental health issues will enhance and enrich the catalogue – a new and innovative way of approaching medical and hospital archives.