The Canadian painter William Kurelek (1927–1977) came to London to seek mental health treatment at the Maudsley Hospital in 1952. He was treated by the psychiatrists Bruno Cormier and, then, George Carstairs. In November 1953, Carstairs referred him to Netherne Hospital to paint with Adamson, who was in the early years of developing his approach using art as therapy.
He stayed for 14 months, later saying about his ‘A Ball of Twine’ (1956):
“I have never really been mad. I was only fooling. I had you all on the end of a piece of string all the time!". (Art as Healing, p27)
The Collection and the Bethlem Royal Archives and Museum hold several of his masterpieces from this period, including the iconic ‘The Maze’
William Kurelek at the Maudsley hospital, early 1950s
|'A Ball of Twine and Other Nonsense'||'The Maze'|
both paintings: © the Estate of William Kurelek, courtesy of the Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto'