Saturday 22nd May 2021
Bethem Gallery's artist, Liz Atkin, leads an absorbing and restorative hour of drawing, focused on expressive mark marking techniques. We will take inspiration from the texture, geography and traces of the Thames Estuary.
We will be working in monochrome and colour - use whatever drawing materials you have to hand, for example a pencil, fine liner, charcoal and colouring pencils. If you want to paint too, you can also have a brush and watercolours to hand or a mug of strong, cold tea!
About the artist
Liz Atkin is an artist and educator. She reimagines her Compulsive Skin Picking and anxiety into drawings, photographs and performances. Liz is a mental health advocate and raises awareness for the disorder around the world. She has exhibited and taught in the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Singapore and Japan. Her artwork and an archive of her advocacy for skin picking is held by the Wellcome Collection. She has been an artist affiliated with the Bethlem Gallery since 2013.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, she gave away more than 18,000 free #CompulsiveCharcoal newspaper drawings to commuters on public transport in London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Cologne and more.
Liz teaches art in schools, hospitals, hospices, prisons, arts venues and universities. She is an ambassador for The Big Draw, the world’s largest drawing festival, focusing on the role of creativity for health and wellbeing.
Liz received the Unstoppable Spirit Award for Outspoken Advocacy at the TLC Global Conference for Skin Picking and Hair Pulling Disorders in San Francisco in 2018, and was a finalist in the Janey Antoniou Award with Rethink Mental Illness in 2018. Her work has featured on TEDx, BBC News, Woman’s Hour, Vice, Women’s Health USA, Huffington Post, Channel News Asia, Metro, AlJazeera and more.
The Bethlem Gallery, established 1997, is situated on the grounds of The Bethlem Royal Hospital.
Managed by a small, artist-led team, the gallery provides a professional space for high-quality artwork and fosters a supportive artist-focused environment.
Exhibitions and events are programmed throughout the year presenting a wide range of mediums and contemporary practice. The gallery is an ideal platform for experimentation, collaboration and skills exchange. Collectively we strive to develop the careers, experience and expertise of the gallery artists by creating opportunities for professional development. Our successful artist-in-residence projects also work with patients and staff on site to improve people’s experience of the hospital environment.
The Bethlem Gallery programme includes collaborations with Bethlem Museum of the Mind, artists-in-residence, interdisciplinary research and partnerships with arts organisations across the UK and beyond. We campaign for access to the arts in healthcare environments and engage audiences in learning and debate on the subject of mental health and artistic practice.
Image: Liz Atkin