- The Lenkiewicz Book Project
- Book For Sale
- Lenkiewicz: The Artist
- Early Work
- Themed Projects
- Project 1: Vagrancy
- Project 1a: Vagrancy
- Project 2: Death and the Maiden
- Project 3: Mental Handicap
- Project 4: Love and Romance
- Project 5: Love and Mediocrity
- Project 6: Paintings Designed to Make Money
- Project 7: Gossip on The Barbican
- Project 8: Jealousy
- Project 9: Orgasm
- Project 10: Self Portrait
- Project 11: Old Age
- Project 12: Suicide
- Project 13: Still Lives
- Project 14: The Painter With Mary
- Project 15: Death
- Project 16: Sexual Behaviour
- Project 17: Observations on Local Education
- Project 18: The Painter With Women
- Project 19: Landscape
- Project 20: Addictive Behaviour
- Project 21: Paintings Painted Blind - On The Theme Of Tobit
- Project 22: Still Lives II
- Project 23: Time
- Project 24: The Harrowing of Hell
- Non-Project Work
- Style and Technique
- Popular Sitters
- Lenkiewicz: The Book Collector
- Lenkiewicz: The Philanthropist
- Lenkiewicz: The Writer
- Personal Memoirs
- a childs-eye view of lenkiewicz
Project 3: Mental Handicap
The following brief explanation was contained in the booklet produced to accompany a Retrospective of Lenkiewicz's work in 1997.
"Some people has brains and don't use 'em. I'd give most things for my kids to 'ave 'em. There you are, it's a funny old world." Parent.
n 1976 Lenkiewicz produced a small book titled: Mental Handicap/Survey Plymouth. He asked several hundred families for permission to paint children and adults, representing a variety of mentally disadvantaged conditions.
The Exhibition was presented in the same derelict warehouse that had housed the Vagrancy project on the Barbican. Massive though the project was, it fell on deaf ears. Though some degree of social insight had developed and it had been a long time coming - it was still far from satisfactory at the time of this project. Today, complacency is fast replacing ignorance. At the end of her contribution to Lenkiewicz's published survey, Baroness Vickers of Devonport and Life President of the Plymouth Society for Mental Handicap, noted:
five hundred parents of those depicted (in Project 3) have had great courage in allowing these portraits to be shown because they realised that this Exhibition may make a major change in the whole of the general public to the mentally retarded in Britain."
Lenkiewicz's somewhat harsh preface to the Mental Handicap Survey observed that:
"A handicapped child means a handicapped parent...complaint has produced most of our art and literature, and most of our social and educational patterns. We say "Why me? I did not deliberately inflict this problem upon myself. " And here is where we miss the point, for we assume that we do anything, anything at all deliberately... Over the last eight months, four hundred persons and myself have been engaged upon an act of complaint. "
Lenkiewicz proceeds with the observation that 'parents' versus 'society' has always operated upon a basis of certain rules, and that this ritual of maudlin altruism is unproductive.
"The paradox consists of two kinds of brain damage running parallel; the mentally handicapped child/adult and the 'normal ' member of Society. "
A thread runs through even the earliest projects, linking the two issues of ethics and aesthetics, and they certainly surface in both Project 1 and Project 3.