ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind has had a couple of related editions over the last couple of weeks that have tackled the psychology and neuroscience of creative thought.
Psychiatrist and one-time english literature professor Nancy Andreasan discusses the neuroscience of creativity and whether genius is related to particular brain states or measurable mental attributes.
The most recent All in the Mind continues the theme, discussing ‘Outsider art‘ – artworks created by those who have had no formal training and often little or no contact with the mainstream art world.
‘Outsider art’ is often associated with people who experience mental illness, particularly psychosis, and the programme features artist Anthony Mannix who has been inspired by his experience of altered states.
One of the most famous historical examples is Adolf W√∂lfli, a troubled orphan who ended up in a Swiss asylum at an early age, but began creating books of visual art, music and text that he would continue to develop for the rest of his life.