Official Launch Day – Grayson Perry speaks on art and mental health

Image: Dr Matthew Patrick, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust with artist Grayson Perry giving speeches at Bethlem Gallery and Museum official launch © Camilla Greenwell

An extremely exciting first month in our new home drew to a close last week with the spectacular finale of our official launch.


Funders, partners and artists came together to celebrate the new space in style. The event was hosted by Roger Paffard, Chair of the Maudsley Charity, both the gallery and museum’s core funders. We were very privileged to have the support of artist Grayson Perry, whose generous spirit and precision oratory brilliantly articulated how important art is within the therapeutic context, both for people in hospital settings but also for people more broadly; “Art is the greatest asset to mental health I have” he said.


Representatives from our fabulous project team joined the celebrations; the architects Fraser Brown MacKenna, the construction company Kier and the exhibition designers who designed the Museum of the Mind, Real Studios.


Many thanks to our special guests, Grayson Perry, Jarvis Cocker and Jo Brand who joined us and took time to speak with the artists and staff and show their support.


Special thanks goes to artists Sue Morgan, Liz Atkin, Phil Baird and curator Sam Curtis for running some extremely engaging, thought provoking and enjoyable events in the gallery studio throughout the afternoon. Our many thousands of visitors do not come to see white walls, albeit beautiful architecture, they come to see the talent, vision and originality of our artists, so hats off to the real stars of the evening!


The move to the new building would not have been possible without the generous support of our funders: Maudsley Charity, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Wolfson Foundation, and Foyle Foundation. We hope they enjoyed the splendor of the building that night and are proud of their involvement in supporting a legacy for mental health that keeps the past, present and future on the cultural agenda.


Thank you to everyone who joined us that day to celebrate our journey, and all the hard work from our marvelous team of staff and volunteers. We hope to have many more wonderful events like these and share this space with as many people as possible. So back to the day job for our team and hope to see you all soon.


A final thanks to Grayson who tweeted on the night “Congratulations to all involved at the Bethlem Gallery and Museum it was a life affirming evening and I encourage all to go.”