Reconsidering Sigmund Freud

An Internal Difficulty Australian Artists at the Freud Museum London showcases the outcomes of a research residency funded by the Western Australian Department for Culture and the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts at The Freud Museum London, in early 2013. It brings together seven innovative Western Australian artists to reconsider Sigmund Freud and his work in relation to his domestic context.

Based in the London townhouse in which Freud and his family settled after fleeing the Nazi occupation of Austria, the Museum houses the late psychoanalyst’s extensive collections of art, antiquities, textiles, prints and furniture, as well as his library, and an archive of correspondence. Its centrepiece is Freud’s study, maintained just as it was during his lifetime, and containing numerous objects that have become famous in their own right through their association to his work, including ‘the’ iconic psychoanalytical couch. The artists were given unprecedented access to the Museum collections. They were given permission to film and photograph in Freud’s study, and allowed to handle priceless objects from Freud’s vast collection of over 2000 antiquities, spanning 4000 years of human civilisation.

The residency additionally allowed privileged insight into Freud’s final months, through the viewing of items from the collection that are not on public display due to their personal nature, including the couch upon which he died in 1939, in addition to the mouth prostheses and cranial X-rays associated with his terminal cancer. In reflecting these experiences, the resulting artworks bear a fitting relationship to psychoanalysis, a therapeutic discipline dependent upon an extended intimacy between an analyst and patient. As such, An Internal Difficulty Australian Artists at the Freud Museum London represents a unique and intimate reconsideration of one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.

An Internal Difficulty is an exhibition of photography, video, sculpture, textiles and drawing curated by Andrew Nicholls. It premiered at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts as part of the Perth International Arts Festival 2015.

This fantastic exhibition is continuing its tour and will be displayed at Collie Art Gallery from May 13 to June 12, 2016.


For more information about the An Internal Difficulty exhibition you can visit

An Internal Difficulty Australian Artists at the Freud Museum London is curated by Andrew Nicholls.

The tour of this exhibition is managed by ART ON THE MOVE. This exhibition has been assisted by ART ON THE MOVE through the Exhibition Touring Program.

ART ON THE MOVE is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts.

ART ON THE MOVE is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Image credit: Untitled Study (detail) by Andrew Nicholls & Travis Kelleher, 2013 Image courtesy the artists with thanks to the Freud Museum London.


An Internal Difficulty logos
An Internal Difficulty logos