Malcolm Learmonth Gallery

I have continuously made art since childhood. As an adult my work has ranged from environmental land art to political screen prints. But throughout there has been a love for and a preoccupation with, landscape. For me, the landscape of the inner and outer worlds are symbiotic. Walks become pilgrimages, and contact with the natural world ‘outside’ becomes reminder of that our artistic and cultural constructs are themselves aspects of natural history.

This idea is central to my work as an Art Psychotherapist. I believe, along with Ellen Dissanayake, that ‘It is as natural for people to make art as it is for wolves to howl’.

The work on this gallery page is another expression of this sense of the ‘outside in’ and ‘inside out’ nature of art making.


The privilege of a long walk in the Indian Himalayas recently gave me lots of time to explore these themes. As I work my way through about 2,000 photographs I will put little selections of them here, by theme. Though the clouds and the mountains played such games of hide-and-seek that these differentiations are a little notional!


Portals of Prague.

On a trip to Prague Insider Art were fascinated by different aspects of this beautiful city, and documented our visual exploration of them.

This section is Malcolm Learmonth’s images of doorways. Doorways are definitely ‘liminal’: ‘liminus’ means threshold and when psychologically we say ‘subliminal’ we mean ‘beneath the threshold of awareness’.

Doors literally mark a boundary between inner and outer, and as they age acquire a patina, a physical embodiment of many, many journeys between. They exclude as well: they signal where we cannot go, and are often intended give us messages about the status and power of the hidden world behind them. They tell us what kind of threshold they define, practically and symbolically.

The I Ching.

I have worked with the I Ching, or ‘Book of Changes’, the Chinese philosophical classic said to be the oldest book in the world, for many years. A conference paper on models of change in Chinese thought, and their relevance to psychotherapy, is being prepared for the documents section of this site, and I have a chapter on ‘Flowing and Stuckness: Art Therapy and Taoism’ in ‘Art Therapy, Race and Culture’ ( edited Campbell et al, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999, ISBN: 185302578X )

The I Ching consists of 64 double images, built up out of every possible permutation of 8 images. All of these images are derived from the natural world. Each combination expresses a particular combination of elements and forces. The I Ching, according to Jung, is ‘an encyclopaedia of archetypal imagery’.

As a landscape photographer, I have worked with the extraordinary beauty of North Wales and of Devon for many years. The work shown here are elements of a project to create a complete ‘I Ching’ based on these sources. It is an exercise in observation and contemplation. I intend to make complete sets of these images available when I feel they are complete.