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In Conversation: Mary Barnes

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Opening Hours: 
The Nunnery, 181 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ

Nunnery Gallery welcomes acclaimed playwright David Edgar and Dr. Joseph Berke to discuss the life and works of Mary Barnes.

Born in 1923, Mary Barnes was a painter who produced work prolifically, bequeathing much of her collection to her friend and psychiatrist Joseph Berke (“Boo Bah”). The Nunnery Gallery is showing this unique collection for the first time, exactly 50 years since she arrived in Bow and stayed at the legendary Kingsley Hall. 

Mary Barnes started to paint at the age of 42, when she moved into Kingsley Hall under the care of RD Laing and his team who expounded the “Anti-Psychiatry” movement. RD Laing set up an alternative community within Kingsley Hall and allowed Mary Barnes to explore her diagnosed schizophrenia through writing and painting, and without medication. She wrote a book with Joseph Berke called “Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness” which inspired the play Mary Barnes by David Edgar (Royal Court, 1978).

Live subtitles will be provided to give deaf and hard of hearing people access to the event.

Book your tickets here

Our 2015 programme is In Dialogue, a year-long exploration of partnerships, artistic inspirations and deeply involved relationships between the artist and the muse featuring work from Pierrick Mouton, Sarah Pucill, Claude Cahun and Mary Barnes.  

This year's programme has been made possible with kind support from our sponsors Images In Frames.