Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness



The Arts Special Interest Group

Welcome to the Arts and Psychiatry Special Interest Group (ArtSIG). ArtSIG provides a focus for psychiatrists interested in the arts and their role in mental health and mental health education.

ArtSIG aims to enrich practice by promoting arts therapies and the use of the arts in education and in enhancing the understanding of psychiatrists’ roles within medicine and within society.

From this page you can sign up to ArtSIG, get involved in promoting the arts in psychiatry and keep up to date with latest news and events.

Aims and Objectives


Executive Committee


How to join





Aims and Objectives


Our Aims:

  • Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and collaboration
  • Promote art as therapy
  • Promote understanding of arts therapies
  • Utilise our professional expertise to support the authentic portrayal of mental states

Our Current Objectives:

  • To grow the SIG membership and identify the many arts activities taking place
  • We are seeking articles of any relevance
  • Inform ArtSIG members of any relevant upcoming arts events

Executive Committee

TBS Balamurali (Joint Chair)

Peter MacRae (Joint Chair)

Hannah Ali (Financial Officer)

How to join

ArtSIG is open to all members of The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Members and Associates may join by completing our online application form or emailing the College Membership office. Others may be invited to join at the discretion of the ArtSIG Chair.



Louis Quail: Big Brother  Artist Talk with Q&A

Thursday 04 October 2018, 18:00-20:00 at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB. Please book your place now for just £5.00. Alternatively you can contact Catherine Langley on 0203 701 2592.


The Art of Psychiatry Society has been exploring the relationship between the arts and psychiatry, through artists talks, since 2011. This year The Art of Psychiatry and the RCPsych Art SIG are joining forces to welcome their first guest artist to give a talk at the Royal College:

Louis Quail is a documentary photographer and will be discussing his recently published work Big Brother:

“Big Brother is an intimate photographic portrait of Louis Quail’s older brother, Justin, and his daily struggle with schizophrenia. The condition is severe and Justin has been sectioned three times in his life. Yet, as the book shows, there is much more to him than his illness. He has interests, hobbies (painting and poetry and especially birdwatching). He also has love; he has been with his girlfriend, Jackie, for over 20 years.


By showing the person beyond the illness, Big Brother challenges stigma head on. It reveals a system in crisis; under resourced and creaking under the weight of its own bureaucracy, but it also discovers important truths on the nature of resilience. At its heart, though, Big Brother is a love story.


The book includes extensive texts to tell Justin’s story. The complexity of his life is reflected in the complex structure of the book which incorporates a number of inserts that provide a deep insight into Justin’s world through extracts from medical reports, police records and from his own notebooks. The book also includes many of Justin’s drawings and paintings as well as a separate booklet featuring both these and his poetry.


Louis Quail has worked extensively for some of the UK’s best known magazines and has been published in the UK and internationally over many years. He increasingly devotes his time to personal, long term projects. His work for Big Brother has already been awarded various prizes and received significant critical acclaim. His 2015 Arts Council funded show, ‘Before They Were Fallen’, which explored the aftermath of the Afghan War from the perspective of British military families, toured the UK and received extensive press coverage. Louis has twice been a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery portraiture award and his work is held in their permanent collection.”


More information about Louis and his work is available at



The first ArtSIG Newsletter - March 2016


Back to top

Login - Members Area

If you don't have an account please Click here to Register

Make a Donation

Information Standard 2