Site visit with artists to New Douglas Bennet House

Announcing Artists for the Pears Maudsley Centre and New Douglas Bennet House

The Art Strategy for  New Douglas Bennet House and Pears Maudsley Centre for Young People invited seven artists to create artwork for the two new buildings in collaboration with staff, service users and their loved ones. 

This mindset of partnership has been implemented right from the start, as artists associated with Bethlem Gallery prepared the briefs for each commission, shortlisted artists presented their concept proposals to Art Groups, and selected artists completed a body of participatory and engaging work with the hospital community. 

Pears Maudsley Centre Artists 

Bethany Williams is a London based designer and brand from the Isle of Man. The work they are creating for the atrium space at the Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People will be their first permanent art commission.   

Believing that social and environmental issues go hand in hand and through exploring the connection between these issues, they find innovative design solutions to sustainability. Each item produced by Bethany Williams is made from recycled, deadstock, or organic materials, made in the UK and Italy. They work with social projects and local manufacturers to produce their collections, providing an alternative system for fashion production, as they believe fashion has the power to be utilised to create positive change. For their project with the Pears Maudsley Centre, the team have worked with the site management team to source materials that are no longer needed by the organisation to create their artwork.  

At the core of Marcus Coates work is a relationship to the unknowable. From his attempts to become animal to his vicarious experiences on behalf of terminally ill patients he seeks to uncover degrees of understanding and knowing, testing our definitions and boundaries of autonomy. He devises processes to explore the pragmatism and insight that empathetic perspectives and imagined realities can offer. He explicitly addresses a need to create functional and inclusive languages where conventional strategies of understanding and rationalisation prove inadequate. Marcus has worked with pupils from the Maudsley School and young people on the Snowfields inpatient unit to develop his commission, which has included multidisciplinary sessions exploring music and line drawing and incorporating the use of VR headsets for an immersive experience. 


Sahra Hersi is a designer and practitioner. She completed an MA architecture degree at the Royal College of Art. She seeks to establish a working philosophy driven by the desire to reinterpret architectural methodology as artistic narrative. Her practice explores shared spaces, the public realm, community engagement, meaningful contributions and collaboration.  Exploring the potent value of difference, diversity, listening,  community, collaboration and empathy. Sahra’s workshops with inpatient units have explored the theme of ‘home’, and part of her output of work will include limited edition postcards for all the Young People who have participated. 

New Douglas Bennett House Artists 

Image courtesy Amber Roper

The Blühen studio was founded in 2017 by London artist Amber Roper, who discovered her love of weaving while studying Textile Design at Central Saint Martin University of The Arts. Her unique approach to colour, composition and texture in weaving has made her the only artist from the United Kingdom to have won the ‘Best Material Creative’ award, at the International Creative Patter Design Competition in 2014. Amber’s workshop invited adults with lived experience of mental health services to join her in relaxed sessions of weaving, collaging and yarn-wrapping. 

Leah Clements is an internationally renowned, multimedia artist who focuses on portraying the versality and various states of the human experience. Specifically, the things ‘that are quite difficult to put your finger on or are hard to describe’, and shared experiences that communicate the uniqueness of the individualised feelings. Actualising her passion and advocacy for accessibility and inclusivity in the Arts, Leah is also a Co-creator of Access Docs for Artists, a resource and template that guides artists on how to communicate their disability access needs to their employers. Her work for New Douglas Bennett house invited service users and patients to participate in creative writing and poetry sessions to inform her work.  

Leah Clements, Photo by Poppy Cockburn
Izzy's Comb Workshop, Photo courtesy Marlan Henry

Izzy Parker-Nasir is a London based artist who specialises in set design, installations and art that invokes public engagement. Art that particularly encourages participants to question and reflect on their perception of each other and themselves. For her workshops with the service users, Izzy has chosen to focus on the theme of hair and the home to stimulate conversations that will inspire her final piece for the main entrance. 

Nisha Dugall is a multimedia artist and filmmaker whose work focuses on highlighting the creativity in our everyday. She investigates situations that encourage the primitive need to create and connect. Her multi-faceted style of art is also reflected in the workshops that she will be facilitating, which will see participants exploring film, photography, using different sensory materials and drawing. Nisha’s participatory sessions with the Nelson Inpatient Ward included sensory activities working with mixed media such as clay, paints and naturally sourced materials. 

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