Gwyneth Rowlands

As part of my weekly volunteering at Bethlem Gallery, I have been asked to catalogue some of Gwyneth Roland's flints. Gwyneth Rowland was an artist and patient at Netherne Hospital, an asylum in Surrey, for 35 years. Her work currently rests at Bethlem Hospital, in many boxes, each stone wrapped in tissue paper.

Gwyneth would collect flint stones from the hospital grounds and directly onto them using Indian ink.   She would exploit the many shapes and sizes on the flint to create stunning 3D paintings. The different facets of the rock often show different faces, animals and scenes. As part of the cataloging I have been measuring, describing and photographing each flint. There are many more to go!

I cannot say how much of a privilege it is to see these works close up and even handle them, turning them over to see all aspects. Many of them have been unseen for decades. Unwrapping each one is like a gift - you never know what to expect. Each work is utterly original and unique. Gwyneth is fast becoming one of my favorite artists.