Designer Paul Smith and The Nightingale Project

The Nightingale Project is thrilled to have collaborated with fashion designer Sir Paul Smith in redesigning a mental health ward at St Charles Hospital, North Kensington – transforming a stark, clinical ward into a unique and welcoming space. The project included painting some of the walls in a characteristically colourful stripe, and hanging a selection of Sir Paul’s own photographs. We believe this is the first time a major fashion designer has redesigned a hospital ward.

Paul said “My visit to the ward was very humbling.I decided to use some of the colour and print that’s so central to my designs. I don’t want to underestimate the challenges faced by the patients, but hope it’s now a more comforting place to be – and also that it’s a more positive environment for the staff, whose work is so important”.

One patient commented: “It’s great! the ward is now more fun and more vibrant. The patients have been feeling really inspired by it”.

Sir Paul generously donated his time, his team’s expertise, and his photographs, and Dulux UK donated the paint. The Nightingale Project is very grateful to Harry Wells of Paul Smith Ltd for his work on the project.

Robin Duttson lithographs installed at Brent Memory Clinic.

In August 2013 the Nightingale Project installed a set of lithographs by Robin Duttson entitled ‘The Apple Tree’ at Brent Memory Clinic, Park Royal Centre for Mental Health. The Clinic is entered through an attractive garden, but previously the interior of the clinic, in contrast, felt rather unwelcoming. The intention behind the project was to ‘bring the outside in’ – to continue the garden theme into the corridors of the Clinic. Robin Duttson’s work was selected because it is fresh, airy and direct, and brings the optimistic and life-affirming atmosphere of spring right into the waiting area.

The Apple Tree was shown in the 2013 Royal Academy Summer Show, and a set of the lithographs has also been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Our set, part of a signed edition of 45 copies, was installed at the Clinic owing to the great generosity of Robin Duttson’s publisher, TAG Fine Arts, who have been greatly supportive of our wish to brighten up this site. The Nightingale Project would like to extend huge thanks to the team at TAG. See

Stephen Hough becomes Nightingale Project Patron

We are delighted that the pianist Stephen Hough has become a patron of the Nightingale Project.

Stephen is one of the most distinguished concert pianists currently performing, and is also a composer, painter, poet and well-known blogger. His first involvement in the Nightingale Project was in 2010, when, in a short break in his international performing schedule, he played the piano for inpatients at the Park Royal Centre for Mental Health (see Work we’ve done page). We are very honoured that he has agreed to become one of our patrons.

Stephen is playing at the First Night of the Proms on 12th July 2013. More information on Stephen on his official website

Signed Artist’s Prints Available : The Limelight Pictures, by Ian Beck

Signed, limited edition prints are still for sale from Ian Beck’s 2013 exhibition. The collection comprises portraits of stars of music hall and early cinema: Charlie Chaplin, Max Miller, Josephine Baker, Little Tich, Anna May Wong, Jean-Louis Barrault, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and others. Purchases of signed prints will support the Nightingale Project’s work.Print prices are from £225 to £255.

This series grew out of a set of drawings that Ian created in 2012 for Ellington Ward, an older adults’ mental health ward at Northwick Park Hospital (see Work we’ve done page). It was following the success of that installation that The Nightingale Project asked Ian to create more such images for an exhibition.

Ian Beck is well known as a children’s writer and illustrator. His novels include the Tom Trueheart series, Pastworld, and The Haunting of Charity Delafield. Further information about the artist and about the Limelight Pictures series are on Ian Beck’s official website.

Email for details of print sales.

Our patron, Quentin Blake.

Our patron, Quentin Blake, has published a new book comprising images created for Ellington Ward, the older adults’ mental health ward at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow.

The pictures Quentin produced for the ward show older people engaging in well-honed circus acts – fire-eating, tightrope-walking and so on – and for the book John Yeoman has woven a poetic and humorous text around these images. The book was published by Andersen Press on 6 June 2013.

Other recent new books by and about Quentin include Quentin Blake: Beyond the Page (Tate Publishing), as well as a new 80th Birthday edition of You’re Only Young Twice(Andersen Press), the book of the illustrations Quentin created for the Nightingale Project in Kershaw Ward, Chelsea, in 2006.

Sir Quentin is on twitter: follow him at @QuentinBlakeHQ

Unique Screenprint by Quentin Blake… Available exclusively through the Nightingale Project:

“The Most Exciting Chapter”:

A limited edition screenprint by Quentin Blake

This screenprint, limited to 100 copies only, is now available for sale. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. Quentin is generously donating all proceeds to the Nightingale Project.

Paper Size approx 76cm x 56cm. Price £600 per print (free UK postage and packing.)

Send cheques made out to Nightingale Project Fund to:

Dr Nick Rhodes. Nightingale Project, c/o Psychology Department, Mental Health Centre, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3UJ.

Ian Beck: The Limelight Pictures


The Limelight Pictures is a set of images by leading illustrator Ian Beck, created specially for the Nightingale Project. An exhibition of all 18 images was opened by Sandy Nairne, CBE, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, and ran from February to June 2013 at the South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre. The pictures were produced as signed, limited edition giclee prints, and are all still for sale to benefit the Nightingale Project.

Continue reading Ian Beck: The Limelight Pictures

Don’t Spill the Milk

In June 2013 the Nightingale Project has installed a series of unique prints, specially commissioned from illustrator Chris Corr, at Frays Ward, the men’s mental health ward at the Riverside Centre, Hillingdon Hospital. Taking his inspiration from the name of the Centre, Chris created a set of paintings on the theme of Rivers, which have been produced as one-off prints and hung in the corridors and sitting rooms of the ward. The intention was that the watery theme should be calm and relaxing, and the inpatients’ comments suggested that Chris had succeeded: “These are soothing”, said one. Another commented, “They make me feel I want to dive in!” One service user gave the view “This corridor was scary before. Now it’s not scary.” This last comment very much reflects the Nightingale Projects primary aim, to make hospital sites feel more human and less institutional.

Corr Don’t Spill the MilkChristopher Corr is a well-known painter and illustrator who has worked for the Nightingale Project in several hospitals. His recent publications include two children’s books, The Goggle Eyed Goats and Don’t Spill The Milk, both written by Stephen Davies and published by Andersen Press. The latter (right) has just been published, in May 2013.

See more of Chris’s work at