Our Impact

Bethlem Gallery is one of the only organisations of its kind in the UK – an independent art gallery and studio embedded in a psychiatric hospital setting, working across and beyond the UK. 

We work in many ways to support the art practice, health and development of artists who have contact with mental health services, and bridge communities with the aim of reducing stigma and promoting understanding about mental health. The gallery has enormous value as a non clinical, non hierarchical space for service users, staff and local communities. It provides a space for art practice, reflection, care, learning and community.

We change lives through opportunities to develop a professional art practice, and through making it possible to forge new identities, agency, skills, connections and understanding. We promote conversations around mental health that reduce stigma, and support, challenge and change clinical and cultural practice.  

We measure our impact against our strategic aims. We are trialling a new evaluation framework that ensures that our artists are at the core, working with us to develop surveys and interviews, and feeding into what and how we record the value in what we do. 

A heartfelt thank you to you all for everything you've done for me over the years. You have expanded my thinking on what art can be and where my practice could fit in that. All the chats in the gallery and studio have been so valuable to me. The opportunities you have given me are incredible and it's no exaggeration to say they have changed my direction in life and how I think about myself as an artist.

The gallery's not doing decorative work. It's work that causes people to think, and hopefully to act differently.

I think it's the change in perception of myself and myself as me and as an artist that's been really useful. And how have they done that? I think that ties in actually with ambitious thinking.

Personally, my collaboration with Bethlem Gallery has impacted how I think about relationships and projects. I think it showed me the value of trust, and what is involved in building a relationship slowly, slowly. You don’t know what is going to come out of it: it’s about how you do it. If you go into it with openness and trust, acknowledgement of what you can and can’t do – that leads to a much stronger relationship – lots of creative outcomes. That’s what I try and push for in my work. Not project based work but long-term prospects for relationships and how to maintain them.

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