Bethlem Art Gallery highlights the importance of art as therapy. Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as ‘Bedlam’, was founded in 1247, marking the very beginning of the Trust as we know it today. It is one of the world’s oldest hospitals for the care and treatment of people with mental health difficulties.
A collection spanning 150 years
The hospital has been collecting artwork created by its patients for over 150 years, but the success of an exhibition, ‘Art Beyond Bedlam’, led to the establishment of a permanent gallery space on the site. Founded in 1997, The Bethlem Art Gallery showcases the talent of artists who have themselves experienced mental health issues and been helped by the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Trust.
The gallery’s international reputation is growing, thanks to the small, dedicated team who manage the gallery and who provide support and encouragement to artists who might not feel able to explore their creativity from a more conventional platform.
Developing artists’ careers
Exhibitions and events are planned throughout the year. These showcase a wide range of different mediums and artistic practice. The gallery also provides an ideal platform for experimentation, collaboration and skills exchange. Collectively we strive to develop the careers, experience and expertise of the artists by creating opportunities for professional development.
The gallery’s successful artist-in-residence projects also work with patients and staff on the site to improve people’s day to day experience of the hospital environment.
For more information visit www.bethlemgallery.com