Ian Beck, Ellington Ward
For the newly refurbished older adults’ mental health ward at Northwick Park, Harrow, we commissioned illustrator Ian Beck to produce a series of drawings of Charlie Chaplin and other stars of early cinema and music hall.
These were made into large giclee prints, which were then complemented by vintage film posters. Chaplin was chosen as the focus of this display because of his universal appeal over the last 90 or so years, thus being recognisable to inpatients of all ages. In addition Ian Beck’s drawings brought out an apt quality of dignity in adversity in the figure of Chaplin. Ian went on to create a series of images of Buster Keaton, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and others – these have been made available as a series of artist’s prints entitled The Limelight Pictures that you can buy in support of our project – see Shop page.
The new Ellington Ward has two wings, one each for men and women. The Quentin Blake circus images (see below, 2009) now occupy the women’s area, and the Chaplin series the men’s corridor, thus helping to give the separate areas their individual identities and helping patients with wayfinding.
The film posters installed were brightly coloured and graphic, and Ian Beck’s images, being delicately drawn in subtle and muted tones, contrasted beautifully with them to create an attractive and visually interesting environment.