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The website  describes her as:
Nurse, Madwoman, Explorer of the Underworld, Celebrant of Death and Rebirth Member of Kingsley Hall Community, Artist, Writer, Healer, Catholic mystic, Visionary
Mary Barnes entered Kingsley Hall, an experimental therapeutic community created by R.D. Laing, in 1965. and would later be described as "an ambassador for Laing" emerging from her journey to co-author a book about it with Joseph Berke, the resident psychiatrist who helped her.
She later became a respected artist, painting evocative works based on her experiences, and in 1979 a play was produced, with script by Barnes with David Edgar. In 1985, Mary Barnes moved to Scotland. Something Sacred her book of conversations, writings and paintings, was published in 1989. In 1993, she moved to Tomintoul. She died in 2001.
- Mary Barnes (play) with David Edgar (1979), published by Methuen Publishing Ltd ISBN 0-413-40070-0
- Something Sacred: Conversations, Writings, Paintings (1989) with Ann Scott, published by Free Association Books, ISBN 1-85343-101-X (hardcover)
- Something Sacred: Conversations, Writings, Paintings (1989) with Ann Scott, published by Free Association Books, ISBN 1-85343-100-1 (paperback)
- Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness (1991) with Joseph Berke, published by Free Association Books, ISBN 1-85343-125-7 (paperback)
- Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness (2002) with Joseph Berke, published by The Other Press, ISBN 1-59051-016-X (hardback)