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Sequences proper: Psychiatric patient 9 - "Rowanna"

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Rita Simon Collection
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


5 artworks identified by Rita Simon's pseudonym "Rowanna". As Rowanna's perception of herself changed, so did her pictorial style, as discussed in Rita Simon's book The Symbolism of Style, pages 77-78.

The descriptions of the artworks are taken from notes written by Wellcome staff during conversations with Rita Simon between 1995 and 1997.

Rita Simon's categorized the paintings in 3 styles: Archaic Linear, Archaic Transition and Archaic Massive.



Physical description

5 artworks

Biographical note

A woman of about 40, referred to in Rita Simon's book The Symbolism of Style; pages 72-78. She was a hospital patient in the 1960s who came to Rita Simon's art group in a wheelchair with each finger bound in a bandage. She said "I am a poor little Jewess" (which she was not, according to Rita Simon). She claimed that she could not use her hands or arms because of arthritis and could not walk, but the symptoms were purely imaginary. Asked if she wanted to paint, she said yes, and chose to paint at the easel. Despite her supposed infirmity, she painted with great energy and the bandages and the wheelchair soon disappeared. She left the hospital but did not come into the day hospital.

This information is taken from conversations between Rita Simon and Wellcome staff between 1995 and 1997.

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