The Souzou exhibition at the Wellcome Collection is a curation of 'Outsider Art from Japan' which has been produced by those who suffer from a mental illness and live in social welfare facilities across Japan. Outsider Art is a term used to describe work made by artists who have had no technical training but produce work for their own creative satisfaction without an audience or purpose in mind. In a way, the work within this exhibition was a result of 'art therapy' and therefore the work was very raw and natural. Each of the artists had a sense of identity within their work which was not forced but represented them entirely.

   Within many of the pieces there was an indication of repetition and obsession with many of the same shapes and patterns being drawn or created over and over again. The processes that many of the artists had chosen to use, such as hand embroidery, hand drawn patterns and ceramics had clearly been a result of a meditative, yet obsessive way of working. This routine would have produced therapeutic and calming effects aiding illnesses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Ryoko Koda, Untitled (1990-2000). The symbol used in her drawings is taken from her name in Japanese

   I found the exhibit incredibly beautiful as the pieces had clearly been created for the sake of the artist and not the viewer. Each piece had been formed as a result of a pure desire to express the self creatively, to the extent that one artist had stitched entire tapestries by collecting others' discarded threads.

   I believe that the idea of art therapy could be relevant within my project and that it is possible to alleviate the battle between the mind and the body through art and design.

Satoshi Morita, Untitled
Shinichi Sawada, Untitled (2006-10)

Shota Katsube, Untitled (2011), an army of action figures made out of the twist ties used to fasten bin liners

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