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Townsend, P. (2014). Editorial. Free Associations, 15(1):1-6.

(2014). Free Associations, 15(1):1-6

Editorial Related Papers

Patricia Townsend

I am delighted to have been invited to guest edit this special edition on psychoanalysis and artistic process. This volume is based on the conference Making Space - Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process (University College London, February 25th 2012). The conference was intended to bring together artists and psychoanalysts and to set up dialogues in which both artist and psychoanalyst would have the opportunity to question each other about their work. To this end, the conference day was arranged in the form of three sessions, each comprising short talks by an artist and a psychoanalyst (Sharon Kivland and Kenneth Wright, Grayson Perry and Valerie Sinason, Martin Creed and Lesley Caldwell) followed by an extended dialogue between the two. Speakers were asked to provide synopses of their talks and these were sent to their dialogue ‘partner’ in advance of the conference.

This volume includes extended versions of the papers given by the psychoanalysts Kenneth Wright and Lesley Caldwell and the artist Sharon Kivland together with transcripts of the talks by artists Grayson Perry and Martin Creed and the psychoanalyst Valerie Sinason.

Of course, a public presentation is inevitably a performance. The three artists were asked to focus their presentations on their working practices and one of the fascinating aspects of the conference was the way in which these three presentations reflected the very different creative processes of each artist. In a sense, the artists not only talked about their working processes but also demonstrated them by the mode of their performances.

Sharon Kivland, whose presentation was highly articulate and theoretically rich, took as her starting point the writings of Freud and the artwork she discussed is related to Freud's writing on art and daydreaming. Kivland based her talk on the creation of a new artwork - a bustle or tournure - which she made in tandem with the writing of her paper.

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