The National Portrait Gallery in partnership with The Earls Court Development Company

The Earls Court Development Company are proud sponsors of The National Portrait Gallery’s Hospitals Arts Programme supporting children through Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. This partnership will provide the security to develop the programme up until 2024 and ensure the re-opening of the Gallery to the public.

The current project, Champions of the World, commenced in October 2020 and runs until September 2024. The project delivers creative art workshops lead by a team of experienced artists, alongside accessible, high quality, free resources. Working in close collaboration with hospital staff including play therapists, nursing staff and hospital teachers ensures appropriate provision tailored to the needs of each individual setting.

The programme gives children, young people and their families an opportunity to access the Gallery’s Collection of portraits and enjoy an associated activity whilst they are undergoing hospital treatment, either as day cases or on a longer-term basis. Using the portraits and inspirational personal stories of sitters as a starting point, they can discover people, past and present who contribute to the rich identity and diversity of Britain.

Their latest digital activity ‘Mindful Drawing’ is now available online. Research shows that mindful interactions with art and drawing can result in a deeper experience and heightened sense of wellbeing. Take 5 minutes to relax and focus on a mindful drawing activity. Choose from 5 artist-led activities inspired by 5 sitters from the National Portrait Gallery Collection. Learn more about Beatrix Potter, Satish Kumar, Richard Long, Barbara Ward and Vivienne Westwood; all champions of conservationism and environmentalism. Each film is accompanied by a downloadable PDF that you can use as a worksheet on which to complete your drawing.

Click here to access the activity.

For more information on the National Portrait Gallery’s Learning programmes click here.

Photos © Marysa Dowling