Mary Barnes at Space – London

November 5th – Dicember 18th
129—131 Mare St - Hackney - London

A major retrospective exhibition of the work of Mary Barnes.

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 colleagueJoseph Berke, Barnes underwent a near total behavioural 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.

This exhibition presents painting, drawing, sculpture and writing produced by Barnes between 1965 and the late 90s alongside an extensive archive of documents, films, audio recordings and photographs relating to her work and the legacy of R.D. Laing’s thought.

A series of events will accompany the exhibition, commencing on Tuesday 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. The event begins at 7.30pm and takes place at SPACE.

Please join us after the opening for a get together hosted by SPACE, FormContentand Am Nuden Da (further details to be announced).

For press enquiries or further information please contact Paul Pieroni

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