Secrets of the Soul

Secrets of the Soul

Secrets of the Soul: Dialogues on Mind, Art and Psychoanalysis

A one-day conference and connected exhibition of commissioned artworks responding to the theme of secrets


Conference: Saturday 8th April 2017 (University College London main campus, Bloomsbury)
Exhibition private view: Friday 7th April 2017 (Freud Museum, Hampstead)


Everybody has secrets. Our own secrets can be a source of both pleasure and anxiety, while other people’s secrets often stimulate intense curiosity. Freud invented psychoanalysis to help his patients tell their secrets, not only to their analyst, but primarily to themselves. However, he soon realised that while the sharing of secrets can bring relief, they are not easily given up.


The conference will bring together psychoanalysts, writers and artists to explore the use of psychoanalysis in our encounters with works of art and literature, which both invite and resist interpretation. How might psychoanalysis enrich our understanding of the work, the artist’s creative process and our own reactions? With the mystery of consciousness still unsolved, can art and fiction communicate aspects of the experience of having a human mind that both neuroscience and psychoanalysis fail to articulate? What can our experiences of art tell us about ourselves, and what do they reveal about the limits of what we can know? Join us as we investigate.


Conference speakers:


  • Tess Jaray | Artist & Royal Academician
  • A.R. Hopwood | Artist & Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow
  • Sophie Hannah | Bestselling psychological crime fiction writer
  • Catherine Hall | Award-winning novelist
  • Paul Broks | Neuropsychologist and writer
  • Garry Kennard | Artist, writer and director of Art and Mind
  • Commissioned student artists | Slade School of Fine Art and the University of the Arts London 

In dialogue with psychoanalysts Peter FonagyLesley CaldwellJuliet MitchellKen Robinson & Liz Allison. 


The conference flyer and programme is attached for your convenience.


To register for the conference, please visit:


In parallel with the conference an exhibition of works responding to the theme of secrets, commissioned by the Psychoanalysis Unit from students at the Slade School of Fine Art and the University of the Arts London will be mounted at the Freud Museum. 


Registered conference delegates are invited to attend the private view of the 'Secrets of the Soul' exhibition at the Freud Museum on Friday 7th April 2017 (6.30pm - 8.30pm).  When registering for the conference you can RSVP via the registration link above.

07/04/2017 - 08/04/2017
London, United Kingdom