Queen Square Exhibition
In 2015, we were invited by the Queen Square Library and Archive to create an exhibition in their museum space.
Exploring the history of Queen Square’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), we discovered mysterious connections between 19th-century neurologist William Gowers and the Morrises. The Morris family home and studio stood adjacent to The National Hospital for 17 years when it became the first medical establishment specially devoted to the study of neurolgical conditions.
The exhibition, launched for the Gowers’ celebration at the History of Neurology and Psychiatry Symposium, weaved art by Gowers with the artists’ current work, extracts from the novel and specially written short stories.
Rows of medical clipboards displaying images of archetypal Morris women by Caroline Isgar hang in front of specially created wallpapers by Sue Ridge.
An old map of Queen Square printed onto a battered suitcase representing the two halves of the brain. Suspended above the suitcase is Julia Dwyer’s ‘out of register’ palimpsest of Queen Square.
Interspersed between Caroline’s images are specially written short stories which continue to explore the relationships between the Morris family and the doctors of Queen Square.
Inside the suitcase a series of exhibits by Andrew Thomas and Leslie Forbes illuminate aspects of the collaboration and incorporate real items from the Queen Square archive and original artworks by William Gowers.
Pre-Raphaelite, Post-Seizure Dress by Leslie Forbes, made roughly to represent how she felt after a seizure, with specially printed fabric featuring Sue Ridge’s dead tulip images and quotes from William Gowers.
Etchings by Caroline Isgar, mounted onto medical clipboards, present timeless women overlaid with patterns that suggest embroidery and also the condition of being veiled or silenced.