Thursday, 4 November 2010


After working on this show for about four years, I'm delighted to at last present Mary Barnes' work at SPACE. Press release below:



In 1965 radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing co-founded an experimental therapeutic community at Kingsley Hall in Bow, East London. Presenting herself on the brink of a serious mental breakdown, Mary Barnes (1923-2001) was Kingsley Hall’s first resident. Under the guidance of Laing and his colleague Joseph Berke, Barnes underwent a near total behavioral regression. Refusing to eat, dress or wash, she was in her own words “going down.”

Around this time she produced her first artwork – a pair of black breasts painted on the wall of her room in her own shit.

Focusing principally on her time at Kingsley Hall (1965-70),
Mary Barnes presents painting, drawing, sculpture and writing produced by Barnes alongside an extensive archive of documents, films, audio recordings and photographs relating to her work and the legacy of R.D. Laing’s thought.

Accompanying the main exhibition will be a cycle of films. These include Abraham Segal's
Coleurs Folie(1986) and Asylum (1972) Produced and Directed by Peter Robinson.

A series of events will accompany the exhibition, commencing on November 16th with an evening workshop led by Oisin Wall

‘The Actual Ping-Pong of the Abyss’
Comments on the History of Madness and Liberation
Tuesday November 16th 2010
7.30pm, SPACE

Further workshops by Victoria Jane Childs and Leon Redler
, a major roundtable gathering and a film-screening programme will be announced shortly.

After the opening, together with FormContent
and Am Nuden Da, there will be a get-together at The Haggerston Pub on Kingsland Road.

For press inquiries or further information regarding events please contact Paul Pieroni:

MARY BARNES is kindly supported by The Elephant Trust and The Mercers Foundation.