Art and Psychiatry

The Dream, oil on canvas. Painting by DR Taha Malasi

Displayed at the Royal College of Psychiatrists August 2002

The painting represents a real dream the artist had as a child. With friends and family, he used to swim every day near his home on the Red Sea. The sea was full of huge sharks and although they never bothered swimmers, parents constantly warned of danger and the need for caution. The dream is about being unable to move as a large shark approaches. The dreamer is hidden in the background, his unconscious inner eye looking into his nightmare in a state of horror.

Dr Malasi graduated in Medicine in 1967 from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. As part of his Medical National Service, he worked in hardship posts, small remote hospitals in the West of Sudan where there was no electricity, running water or proper roads. Other posts located him in civil war zones, or on the edge of jungles with exotic wild life both which had a great impact on his art.

He won a scholarship from the British Council to read Psychiatry at the Maudsley and Institute of Psychiatry, London where he obtained his DPM and MRCPsych. In 1991, because of the Gulf War, he left Kuwait where he was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Kuwait University. Prior to his present position as Senior Lecturer at Kent University and Community Consultant Psychiatrist for Dover, he worked in Dudley, West Midlands.

Malasi’s paintings have won awards in Egypt and the UK and been exhibited in Egypt, The Sudan, Kuwait, Dudley, Stourbridge, Wolverhampton and Canterbury. In 1999 he won a major award in the Artists and young Artists of the Year competition, organised by the Society of All Artists.

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