May 22, 2022

mental health month | hospital rooms digital art school

Hospital Rooms is a London based mental health and arts charity organisation that radically transforms inpatient mental health settings with contemporary art. They also run weekly workshops online – Digital Art School hosted by internationally acclaimed artists remotely from their studios. These live digital workshops are for inpatient mental health units, as well as people accessing community mental health services and the wider public.

Our award-winning Digital Art School offers live and on-demand art workshops, bringing a global community together via Zoom webinars. Sessions are designed to be safe, secure, and appropriate for service users in inpatient units, community settings, or at home. 

– Hospital Rooms

Their Story

Artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White founded Hospital Rooms after a close friend was sectioned and admitted to a mental health hospital. Upon visiting their friend they were shocked to discover that the hospital environment was so cold and clinical and not at all conducive to recovery at all they were swiftly made aware of how much room for opportunity there was to improve these spaces for those using these services. Having each worked within the industry for 10 years, they felt they had the skills and community to be able to transform these spaces with high quality artworks.

Their first project was in 2016 at the Phoenix Unit, which is a rehabilitation unit for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. They commissioned Nick Knight, Gavin Turk, Assemble among other world class artists to work with patients and staff to create site specific artwork for the ward. From this moment, Hospital Rooms began reaching far and wide becoming inundated with requests ever since, using their expertise to enrich many wards making for a more welcoming environment for patients.

If you are interested in seeing some of the fantastic works by the amazing artists commissioned by Hopsital Rooms then click here to see some past and current projects running within the charity.

Digital Art School

Fostering creativity and connection through art

– Hospital Rooms

Hospital Rooms hosts live, completely free weekly workshops via Zoom. These sessions are open to those currently accessing mental health services as well as the general public. The artists leading these online sessions have exhibited in an array of the world’s best galleries and have taught in some of the country’s best art schools. During each instalment of Digital Art School, the hosting artist will introduce everyone taking part to their individual creative practice and guide everyone through making their own creations in their style.

I have personally attended a little handful of these digital sessions and each one has been wonderfully engaging. From an artists point of view, it is incredibly interesting to watch other artists create such unique pieces and learn from them and from the perspective of someone who has accessed mental health services, I can understand how important organisations like this are in helping to enrich the lives of people who are struggling with mental ill health and providing them with an outlet.

Over the past couple of months I have attended a few of their workshops I thought I would share a little about each fo the artists as well as the artwork I created during each session:

Abstract Figure Drawing with Sipewe Mgnuni

About the Artist

Siphewe Mnguni is a South East London-based British-Zimbabwean mixed media fine artist who creates figurative pieces centred on the iconography of black women and her own lived experiences. As multidisciplinary creative, she combines a range of techniques including drawing, hand-cut collage and textiles to create mixed-media abstract portraits using her various mediums to explore the black female nude and under represented people through abstract figuration. Her bold lines, vibrant colours and movement used to create her magnificent pieces are like nothing I’ve seen before. I am in absolute awe of the emotion she displays within her pieces.

Find Siphewe Mgnuni:

Instagram @s_i_p_h_e_w_e

My workshop creations:

Exploring Imagery with Louis Caseley

About the Artist

Louis Caseley is an Artist and Art Technician from London. He recently graduated from MA print at the Royal College of Art. He creates his artwork with the relationship between repetition, authenticity and collective memory in mind.

Louis’ workshop we looked at a range of pictures and exploring the different way art and images can affect us. A number of images were explored, focusing attention on any emotions provoked by each photograph because shifting focus onto the aspects of each picture to make a unique piece of artwork.

Find Louis Caseley:

Instagram @louiscaseley

My workshop creations:

Flags of Us with Darren John

About The Artist

Darren John is a London based Artist. His motivation is his belief that when we lead with playfulness and curiosity, we have the power to expand our worlds. This mindset is at the very core of this artworks which seek to revive and energise the infinite possibilities of unrestricted imagination. Within his vibrant, playful geometric artworks he explores everyday objects and their ability to covey such unique patterns and emotion.

Find Darren John:

Instagram @darrenjohn

My workshop creations:

Where to Find Hospital Rooms

To register for Hospital Room’s Digital Art School live Zoom sessions and for more information, please click here.


Instagram: @_HospitalRooms

Twitter: @Hospital_Rooms

Youtube: Hospital Rooms

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