Annie Cattrell

given ten minutes to express my feelings through colour. My friend had no problem with the request. quickly producing a concoction of heavy purples flecked with orange.

influence on the psychologically disturbed patient.

Her brief is two-fold: to provide art workshops for the long—term patients at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital,

artistic means ofself—expression. say some art therapists. and you shed light on the darkness. You may learn more about that person than would have been possible through



Some therapists believe that art can work wonders where science has failed. To shed light on the matter. Miranda France speaks to Annie Cattrell. the first artist in Scotland

The purple was. ofcourse. her bad mood; the orange flecks represented a few highlights like chocolate pudding at lunch —- which had made the bad mood bearable. Loosely speaking. the class was an experiment in art therapy. 'l'hese days my friend. who shows no sign of having benefited from the experience. laughs it off as mumbo-jumlm. And she’s not the only one to take a cynical view ofart

conversation or psychoanalysis. You may even help cure the person. The experience ofthe group ofpatients portrayed in the recent film A it'akt'nmgs goes sotne way to hearing out their theory. These people‘s minds. trapped inside inert bodies. respond haphazardly to drugs. but almost miraculously. certain kinds of music can stimulate them.

Annie ('attrell would not claim to

and to encourage them to take an interest in her work ~ she has her own studio there -A and the visual arts in general. The residency was organised by the charitable organisation AR'I'LINK and has set a precedent for other hospitals to follow.

Cattrell admits that it is difficult being the first artist to take the plunge. ‘I found it quite overwhelming to begin with.‘ she

to take up residency in a psychiatric hospital.

he a miracle-worker. nor indeed an art therapist but. as the first artist to have taken up residency in a


’l‘he unconscious mind is regarded as a dark. lumbering beast. largely impenetrable to all but the expert psychiatric hospital in Scotland. she emergency. 1 also had all sorts of i

: PSYChUlOngl- BUI £1ch Wms‘lmc 11" feels that art can be a positive initial intentions and ideas which I ' I

says, ‘just understanding the way the hospital ran and who to approach and what to do in the event of an

At school I remember being provided with crayons and paper and

The List 1‘) April ~ 2 May lWl 73