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Mary Barnes: Rebirth

This event reflects upon Mary Barnes’s life in Scotland, her deep connection to nature and her spiritual beliefs. Join us at Falkland in a celebration of her life and legacy, a place she lived and her final place of rest.

6:00pm ‐ 7:30pm
The Chapel Royal
Falkland Palace, Falkland, KY15 7BY


This event brings together therapists, friends and academics to reflect upon and celebrate Mary Barnes’s life and work.

The event is co-hosted by Ninian Stuart, Keeper of Falkland Palace, and Professor Victoria Tischler. They are joined by creative arts worker Anthea McKinlay, developmental psychologist Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Dr Huw Lloyd-Richards, Honorary Research Fellow, University of St Andrews, and music therapist George Francis.

Surrounded by Barnes’s artwork in the sacred space of the Chapel Royal, panellists will share stories, music, poetry and reflections on Barnes’s life in Glasgow, Fife and the Highlands.

The event includes content on themes of mental illness, emotional trauma and recovery that may cause distress.

The Chapel Royal is accessible via steep stairs and therefore we regret that the venue is not suitable for those with limited mobility.

About Mary Barnes

Mary Barnes (1923-2001) lived at Kingsley Hall from 1965-1970; a radical experiment in anti-psychiatry led by the Glaswegian psychiatrist Dr R D Laing. There, Barnes was encouraged to regress to a child-like state to ‘live through’ her psychosis and recover from mental illness.

Encouraged by clinician Dr Joe Berke, Barnes became a prolific artist, primarily using her fingers to apply paint to canvas, wallpaper backing paper, and found objects. Barnes lived in Scotland from 1985 until the end of her life, including a period in Falkland. This was an important time in her life and her funeral took place in the Chapel Royal in 2001. She was laid to rest in Falkland Estate’s cemetery.

Rebirth & Revolution: The Life & Legacy of Mary Barnes

Rebirth & Revolution celebrates the life and legacy of Mary Barnes (1923-2001) in her centenary year. It takes place at the ARC at the University of Glasgow from 5-21 October 2023, alongside a series of special events.

Rebirth & Revolution is presented in partnership with the Falkland Estate, the University of Glasgow, the University of Surrey, and the Wellcome Collection.

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival An event by Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

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