We're committed to supporting student mental health and nurturing emergent talent to shape the future of the arts in health sector. We're pleased to announce that we're partnering with the internationally-renowned art school Central Saint Martins.

As part of Art in Large Doses project, students from the BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation course at Central Saint Martins will be asked to propose an art exhibition that will support the wellbeing of patients at King's College NHS Health Centre.

There is a mental health crisis within higher education. A quarter of students experience psychological distress, associated with increased risk of anxiety and depression. And, since 2010, the number of students dropping out of degree courses due to mental illness has trebled. The Art in Large Doses project will see CSM students explore ways in which art can support the physical and mental health of their peers, while also pushing the boundaries of what is expected of art in healthcare.

The winning proposal will be selected by patients and staff of King's College NHS Health Centre and will be realised as an exhibition at the Centre in the autumn. It is anticipated that the exhibition will combine works from the Paintings in Hospitals collection with works by emergent and mid-career artists, including film or sound-based works.

Amisha Karia, Head of Collections & Programming at Paintings in Hospitals, said:

We’re really excited to be supporting emerging curators from Central Saint Martins and helping to push the boundaries of what is expected of art in our public health spaces. Using art to create care environments that encourage, enrich and empower people is key to safeguarding the wellbeing of patients, services users and care staff across the UK. We look forward to seeing the bold and original ideas of these talented students that will ultimately shape the future of arts in health.

Andrew Marsh, course leader for BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, said:

This collaboration with Paintings in Hospitals offers our students an opportunity to test ideas in front of experienced professionals. Paintings in Hospitals’ support for the project has enabled our students to consider and respond to the ever-pertinent issue of mental health and the role of artistic and curatorial production in addressing this.

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