Outside In: Bethlem Past

Outside In: Bethlem – A solo show by Ronald Henry, was at the Bethlem Gallery running alongside Outside In: London in 2012.

It was held at The Bethlem Gallery in the grounds of Royal Bethlem Hospital.

Marc Steene, the Head of Learning and Community at Pallant House Gallery, selected one artist that creates art through SLAM (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust). This artist was Ronald Henry and the exhibition ran from the 29 August – 21 September 2012. Please take a look at his Outside In page: www.outsidein.org.uk/ronald

Ronald is 73 years old and was a resident of both Maudsley and Bethlem hospitals for approximately 2 years. He now lives in a low and medium secure unit in Berkshire. He began drawing when he arrived at Maudsley, honing his central motifs of planes and boats.

The work is saturated with meaning and symbolism specific to Ronald’s thoughts and belief systems. His style is naïve and he often includes text and messages to his intended recipients and audiences. Many of the messages are addressed to prominent heads of state, both in Britain and America. He chooses basic, easily available materials, to work with such as pen, wax crayons, pencil and paper.

Ronald’s unique style sheds an x-ray vision onto the world he sees. Whether he is drawing animals, planes, boats or people he will draw them from the inside out. Starting with the inner workings of internal organs (in the living subjects) or furniture and fixings (in the manufactured ones) continuing, layer by layer, until the 2 dimensions of his paper exploration manage to depict all 3 of the person, being or object of interest.

Thanks to The Bethlem Gallery for these photographs of the exhibition.