Local Legend Guy Warren Back at Home After Recovering From a Stroke

Artist and Lane Cove Local Guy Warren is a legend.

Born in Goulburn on April 16, 1921, Mr Warren’s distinctive interpretation of landscape and human form is a signature of his work – some of it inspired by his time in Papua New Guinea rainforests during his World War II service. Naturalist David Attenborough is one of his lifelong contacts.

In  2021 Melbourne-based artist Peter Wegner won the 2021 Archibald Prize and $100,000 for his portrait Guy Warren titled Portrait of Guy Warren at 100.

Guy Warren turned 100 in April 2021 – he was born the same year the Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921.  Guy Warren won the 1985 Archibald Prize with a portrait of artist Bert Flugelman,

If being in the Archibald spotlight was not hectic enough,  Guy Warren also had five separate exhibition events.

One of the events was hosted by Gallery Lane Cove + Creative Studios. The Gallery presented a successful major centenary survey exhibition of Guy Warren’s artworks, spanning his creative arc as a painter from the 1940s through to his self-proclaimed time of great productivity during 2020.

There was also a major showing at the prestigious King Street Gallery on William.

Guy Warren at the Opening of his Gallery Lane Cove Exhibition in May 2021

Guy Warren is a past Lane Cove Citizen of the Year.  In 2021, Guy was also awarded a special Lane Cove Council lifetime achievement award.  The award acknowledged his long-standing support of Lane Cove artists, which began 60 years ago when he arrived in Greenwich.  Read more about Guy Warren here.

Bloody Busier

“Bloody busier last year than I have been all my life. And the Archibald Prize excitement was all part of that,” Guy Warren said.

“It was all too good a story that the prize had been going 100 years and the winner of the prize was a portrait of a 100-year-old artist. The media just went mad about it and could not resist it,” he said.

Guy Warren took this all the attention in his stride, he said his knees were “stuffed from arthritis”, but he was still driving.

This all changed in September 2021 after Guy suffered a stroke when he stumbled in the courtyard of his home one morning in September 2021.

“My son told me afterwards that I had complained of feeling dizzy and lacking energy that morning, but I don’t remember any of that. It must have affected me more than I thought,” he said.

On admission to Royal North Shore Hospital last year, a clot was found deep in the right side of his brain, confirming a stroke. Guy was moved to Greenwich Hospital for rehabilitation with a team led by Occupational Therapist Rebekah Choong. Recovery from stroke is one of the rehab team’s specialties – of the 450 patients they see each year, about 100 are stroke-related

After the stroke Guy was left dizzy, seeing double, and experiencing depth of field problems – devastating symptoms for one of the nation’s most celebrated painters.

The task for the Greenwich rehab therapy team, coordinated by senior staff specialist A/Prof Andrew Cole, was how to help Mr Warren recover sufficiently to return to independent living at home, and resume his life’s work.

The good news is that Guy Warren is back at home after the rehabilitation team at Greenwich Hospital helped with his stroke recovery.

Back in the Studio

Guy Warren and A/Prof Cole reunited on 2 March 2021 this year at his studio, surrounded by half-finished canvasses and sketches, to discuss his recovery six months on.  (our cover photo is of Guy Warren and A/Prof Cole in Guy’s studio).

Guy is depressed he has not resumed painting yet, but he is confident he’ll be working again soon. “I am not going too badly now – I’m really bloody lucky to still be here,” he said.

A/Prof Cole said everyone who comes to Greenwich Hospital after a stroke, like Mr Warren, benefits from individualised treatment. No two patients are the same. “We always tailor a program to meet the specific needs of the person.”

“In Mr Warren’s case, he had three major issues – his need to see clearly again, fix his depth of field problems, and he had to recover properly his mobility.”

“His thinking mechanism, interacting and talking was not affected by the stroke, so the therapists were able to talk through with him what was going on. When we can work together closely with the patient on the right therapy, we can really make it work,” he said.

The Lane Cove Community is lucky to have a dedicated rehabilitation team on its doorstep.

HammondCare General Manager Health and Palliative Care Dr Andrew Montague said the Greenwich rehab team can help with neurological, musculoskeletal and cancer diagnoses and their treatments; rehabilitation after falls and fractures; reconditioning after surgery; orthopedic treatment and more.

“The key to successful rehab is to listen to patients, hear their needs and get them on the road to regaining independence,” Dr Montague said.

In 2017 In The Cove was lucky enough to meet Guy Warren. Below is Guy’s picture with the 2017 winner of the Guy Warren Prize, talented Dana Dion Artist. Dana is one of the artists behind the popular Greenwich Village Arts Trail.


We are glad to see Guy Warren back at home surrounded by his paintings.

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