Mary Barnes: A Creative Revolution in Mental Healthcare

Mary Barnes: A Creative Revolution in Mental Healthcare

ARC Public
Date: Thursday 05 October 2023
Time: 18:00 - 20:30
Venue: Advanced Research Centre
Category: Exhibitions, Social events

IMAGE: 'The Crucifixion' by Mary Barnes (No date)

This interactive event and exhibition launch brings together experts from psychology, social geography, fine art and medicine to consider and discuss the artwork and legacy of Mary Barnes.

The panel will consider the contemporary relevance of Barnes’s work, how it might support understandings of mental health, and how creativity can be used to promote recovery from mental illness.

There will also be an opportunity to view the exhibition - Rebirth & Revolution: the Life and Legacy of Mary Barnes – and continue the conversation over a drinks reception.

The panel will be moderated by the exhibition’s curator Professor Victoria Tischler and includes Dr Allan Beveridge, Dr Cheryl McGeachan, and Dr Drew Walker who will each respond to the work presented in the exhibition.

'Rebirth & Revolution' celebrates the life and legacy of Mary Barnes (1923-2001) in her centenary year. Barnes was resident at R. D. Laing’s therapeutic community, a radical experiment in anti-psychiatry, at Kingsley Hall from 1965-1970. Her artwork demonstrates the radical potential of creativity to support recovery from mental illness. Barnes lived in Scotland from 1985 until the end of her life.

Rebirth & Revolution: the Life and Legacy of Mary Barnes runs at the Advanced Research Centre from 6 - 21 October (excluding Sunday 8 October).

Presented in partnership by the Falkland Estate, the University of Glasgow, the University of Surrey and the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

About the Panellists

Professor Victoria Tischler is Professor of Behavioural Science, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey. She is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Her research focuses on creativity and mental health and multisensory approaches to promote healthy ageing and innovative dementia care. She curated the exhibition Mary Barnes: Rebirth and Revolution and presented a series of radio essay programmes 'Art from the Outside' on BBC3 radio’s The Essay (2023) in which Barnes was one of the featured artists.

Until his retirement, Dr Allan Beveridge was a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline. He continues as Psychiatry in Pictures Editor and co Book Review Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry. He is History and Humanities Editor of the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He has written widely on the history of psychiatry and the medical humanities.

Dr Cheryl McGeachan is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow who specialises in researching the lived worlds of mental ill-health. Working in collaboration with individuals experiencing mental ill-health and outsider art collections, Cheryl has explored the power of creativity to help understand the lived realities of enduring mental ill-health from a historical and contemporary perspective.

Dr Drew Walker is an artist researcher with lived-experience of mental illness. His PhD focused on art, mental illness and recovery within the innovative model of therapeutic healthcare at Gugging's House of Artists in Austria. He created the socially and culturally integrative Falling UP Together (SCIO) charity inspired by Gugging's processes.

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