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Patients Waiting to See the Doctor, with Figures Representing Their Fears

© Wellcome Collection . Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

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The painting shows patients waiting to see the doctor. They are painted in maggot-like shapes derived from the artist's psychosis, or mental illness. Since the age of six, the artist has had at times sensations of maggots moving about in her body. She had an unhappy childhood culminating in a suicide attempt at the age of 15. Since then she has spent periods in psychiatric care, enduring electrical and chemical therapies without achieving relief from her feeling of maggots taking over her body. Painting became increasingly important to her in 1996 when she became ill again and started hearing voices. She began spontaneously to paint faces, which she subsequently recognized as fellow patients from her earlier stays in psychiatric hospitals, and which brought back a flood of suppressed memories.

Wellcome Collection



Patients Waiting to See the Doctor, with Figures Representing Their Fears




oil on wood (MDF)


H 91.5 x W 61 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method


Work type


Inscription description

The patients with their fears waiting to see the doctor. 24.6.1997. R. Carson


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Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE England

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