Drawn in Residence


Drawn in Residence is an evolving programme at CW+, designed to encourage drawing at the frontline of care in our hospitals. We use drawing to communicate, enhance our environment and improve the wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors.  

The programme started in 2019 with a year-long residency with artist Anouk Mercier, supported by the Tavalozza Foundation. It has now been expanded to provide a bridge into the creative industry for third-year and recently graduated students. Young illustrators are offered a three-month artist residency at one of our hospital sites, helping them to learn how to adapt their practice in a hospital environment and transition into working artists.

To see more examples of drawing-based projects by artists who have worked with us since 2017, please visit our Drawn Collection microsite.

Drawn in Residence III: 2023

Working cross-site with Kingston School of Art and the University of the West of England (UWE), illustration students attended a Takeover Day, where they developed their initial ideas in the context of a hospital environment. After a panel presentation we’ve awarded 6 student residencies across both sites.

Drawn in Residence II: The impact of COVID-19

In partnership with the Tavolozza Foundation, our Drawn in Residence II project documented, explored, and captured the changing roles of staff during the pandemic. Drawn II focused on how the pandemic shaped new hospital environments and the role of drawing in healthcare.  

This project was funded by the University of the West of England (UWE) in collaboration with artists, scientists and healthcare professionals across our hospitals, and the university’s Faculty of Health & Applied Science and Drawing Research Group. 

Resident students captured life at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in pen and ink, over a two-day period. Artists Emily Thomas, Tim King and Olivier Kugler spent time in the wards, in theatres, attending clinics, and shadowing staff to understand our hospital community.  

Drawn in Residence I: 50 Nurses by Anouk Mercier

Kindly supported by the Tavalozza Foundation, 50 Nurses was the result of a year-long drawing residency by artist Anouk Mercier.  

Created in parallel with research undertaken for our Westminster Hospital 300th anniversary project, 50 Nurses addressed the lack of female representation in the charity’s historic art collection. It specifically responded to the discovery of a 1919 photograph of Westminster nurses which, despite documenting women’s contribution to hospital life, did not include any of the nurses’ names. 

50 Nurses consists of 50 individually drawn portraits of each of the women in the photograph. To reclaim some physical space in the hospital for key female figures, a selection of these drawings was installed in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as part of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019. 

As well as celebrating each woman’s uniqueness, the installation also invited staff and members of the public to help identify each nurse, in the hope that each nurse’s identity would eventually be uncovered and their names listed alongside the photograph.