Slade School of Fine Art



Patricia Townsend: The Creative Process - An Investigation Through Practice

I work with video, photography and installation and am interested in the interface between the external world and the internal world of the imagination. Much of my work explores our emotional relationship with landscape - the ways in which landscape can affect us and the stories we construct by projecting our own beliefs, expectations and desires onto our surroundings. My PhD project is to investigate the process of making visual art from a psychoanalytic viewpoint. I am interested in the ways in which new artworks come into being, the trajectory of their development, the states of mind the artist moves through along this trajectory and the physical spaces that help or hinder the process.  I draw on the ideas of a range of psychoanalytic writers focusing, in particular, on the writings of DW Winnicott, Marion Milner, Christopher Bollas and Kenneth Wright.

I have recently guest edited a special edition of the peer reviewed journal Free Associations, which is now online on The edition is entitled ‘Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process’ and is based on the conference Making Space held at UCL in 2012. It will include articles by psychoanalysts Lesley Caldwell, Kenneth Wright and Valerie Sinason and artist Sharon Kivland together with transcriptions of the talks given by Grayson Perry and Martin Creed. It will also include my article ‘A Life of its Own’, based on the interviews with artists conducted as part of my PhD research.
In September 2013 I will have a solo exhibition, supported by an Arts Council individual artist’s award, at Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin on Coniston Water.

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