The Secrets of Outsider Art Revealed In New London Exhibition

Once the term Outsider Art, Raw Art or Art Brut  was used to describe work produced by artists working in cultural isolation, following their own vision. Their isolation might be physical, emotional, or a result of mental illness, or a combination of these. The term has now expanded to include other artists as well, individuals who may be connected to, and function in society, but really have no interest in the established art world, little or no formal training, yet are driven to make art. This type of artist often experiments wildly with unexpected media, and makes up technique as they go along to produce idiosyncratic, bold and arresting work.

The Arts Project has just announced a major new Outsider Art exhibition, EPIPHANIES! Secrets of Outsider Art at The Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, 26th September –  28th November 2013. EPIPHANIES! is curated by artist Sue Kreitzman and The Arts Project Director Peter Herbert and follows on from the pair’s previous exhibitions WOW, Flashier & Trashier andDare to Wear at the Novas and St Pancras Crypt Galleries.  

Outsider Art is a movement of untrained artists with a burning desire and passion for expression that features art of an obsessive nature. Often this involves collecting debris shaped to express the inner thoughts and feelings of the creator. Some artists may suffer from mental health issues, others simply have no interest in conventional art practice.

EPIPHANIES! will explore a range of different sources of Outsider Art, using case history text to explore the dynamics of each artist. The exhibition will be a wonderful insight into this fascinating world, bringing together up to 20 local and international Outsider Artists. Many of the artists will be presenting work for the first time in London and there will be participation from art groups linked to the Camden and Islington Foundation Trust such as Isledon Road Creativity Centre, which encourages creative practice amongst its residents with mental health issues.

Artists include: Sue Adden | Claudia Benassai | Manuel Bonifacio | Kate Bradbury | Michael Bajan Connell | Fiona Cosgrove | Elton Darlo | Yvonne Mabs Francis | Joe Gagliano | John Kahn | Nnena Kalu | Sue Kreitzman | Rosemary McLeish | Judith McNicol | David Mercer | Sexton Ming | Liz Parkinson | Valerie Potter |  John Sheehy | John William  
plus many more from the NHS Foundation Trust and beyond…

“If you hang out with us, you may experience epiphanies, revelations and visions. Visit us and you might burst into art, aflame with colour, exaltation and obsessive creativity. We are Outsider Artists, working far beyond the margins of the conventional art world. Untutored, obsessive, producing art for our own pleasure and therapy, inventing techniques, scavenging for unexpected materials, we are united in our need to express beliefs, angst, political and spiritual views, through art. View our passionate work and you may experience a strong urge to begin making art by any means possible. The streets are full of seductive rubbish. Inspiration is everywhere. Anyone can make art of anything! We are Outsider Artists. We will change your life.”  EPIPHANIES! curator and artist Sue Kreitzman

Opened in 1997 through a members initiative, The Creativity Centre’s aim is to challenge the notion of the mental health system by providing an art studio to inspire individuals to share and develop creative achievements and to encourage self-development through visual expression. Housed within the Isledon Road Mental Health Resource Centre, it is open to any of the centre’s members.

Sue Kreitzman is an artist, curator and prominent figure of the Outsider Art movement. An expatriate New Yorker now living in London, Sue worked for many years as a successful cookery writer and television presenter before becoming an artist much later in life (she is now 73 years old). Well known for her lavish personal style, she has been featured in the Advanced Style book and blog and is the subject of a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ which will broadcast Tuesday 17th September.  


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