A Tale of Mother’s Bones tells the remarkable story of a unique artistic and personal collaboration. After meeting at a party in 1935, Dr. Grace Pailthorpe (1883–1971), a trained surgeon, and Reuben Mednikoff (1906–1972), an artist and designer, began collaborating on a project that would bring together art, writing and psychoanalysis in an attempt to create a better society.

Initially associated with Surrealism and praised by Andre Breton as ‘the best and most truly surrealist’ of all the British artists, they made wildly experimental paintings and drawings which they then subjected to rigorous psychoanalytic interpretation; developing a creative practice that they called ‘Psychorealism’.

This is the first exhibition to bring together Pailthorpe and Mednikoff’s extraordinary drawings and paintings, alongside their often challenging interpretations. Featuring over 80 works spanning nearly four decades, this show examines their earliest experiments with Surrealist processes, their response to the rise of Fascism in interwar Europe, and the way in which they approached gender, relationships, psychology and spirituality, from progressive and often radical positions.

Curated by Hope Wolf, University of Sussex, with Rosie Cooper, De La Warr Pavilion, and Camden Arts Centre.