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The Art of Joan Gunther

In this blog we link some of Joan Rosalind Gunther's art with the relevant notes created during her sessions with Dr Warner. You can find out more about that process on our blog here. I've put comments marked as Dr Warner's in square brackets.

3 10 49

3rd October 1949: 'Human electricity. “They cannot get hold of it” '

4 10 49 doom of christianity

4th October 1949: 'doom of Christianity: machine versus the individual; Russia versus Christendom; vaguely illustrates one’s own conflict. Weaving in OT is machine-like: to be creative is hell on earth'

4 10 49

4th October 1949: ' It was the feet I managed to get out there. Just in a very indecisive spot. The Great figure was just coming at one. One can only explain the feet- a gate as well- gates are very important- symbolic- one is always coming up against them. The farm gate (into Bethlem grounds) gives me much relief- it is unlocked'

10 10 49

10th October 1949: '[I note this is a much more finished product] It comes more easily- one can feel one’s way. It does not mean anything- it is just an incident- just cutting bread for tea- Max was cutting it'

14 10 49

14th October 1949: 'A very bad mood- depressed- a modern Pilgrim’s Progress. The yellow angel turned into the devil- his subordinate devils. The bottom figure is me, pushed off again.

Further Associations- I am conscious of the Union Jack, fortresses, the answering attack'

26 10 49

26th October 1949: 'The coward’s path [with a laugh]. A steep precipice on one side and fire on the other. She is very afraid of me at the moment, tying herself into knots trying to produce something as she desires to contribute something. The fire is one’s emotions which may consume, one cannot express them. The cliff is one’s fear of falling, ever since she hurt her back diving. The path is going to me. The faces are myself. They are rather horrible, one had to dim the eyes as they were too violent. There were perhaps other faces as well. She later associated female backsides.'

26 1 50

26th January 1950: 'Late Jan and early Feb- [An aggressive, uncooperative and difficult phase. Much fear of my disapproval. Waves of hatred for her parents. A strong desire to leave the Hospital but no idea what to do. Many aggressive dreams]'

16 2 50

16th February 1950: 'A tumour in one’s mind was trying to get out. A picture of one’s mind: or the nearest one can get in one of these phases. Robots sucking in heads, dead peoples’, all going into a sort of cave; horses come out, they feel like them. A bit of christ is in it.'

18 2 50

18th February 1950: 'Uriah the Hittite. One was hanging one’s own feelings onto it.

[Following a mild suggestion from me, she now deliberately adopted a new technique for her pictures;- she tried doodling or drawing like a child of 5. She tried to recall her childish life and emotions. This led to further outpourings of material, but she tore up and did not show those which were too crude].'