As part of the Regent’s University London Outreach programme, Julia Weiner, Senior Lecturer in Art History, organised a visit to the Royal College of Physicians’ Garden of Medicinal Plants, followed by a botanical drawing and watercolour art workshop for patients from local hospitals.
The morning was part of a quarterly series of art workshops for hospital outpatients, staff and families of local London hospitals, as well as members of both hospital staff and Regent’s staff. Weiner, along with artist Marenka Gabeler, works with outpatients and their families from Imperial College Healthcare, the two Maggie’s Cancer Centres at Charing Cross and the Royal Free Hospital.
The 13 participants met at the Royal College of Physicians for a guided tour of their medicinal garden and some sketching, before moving to Regent’s, where Gabeler lead a botanical drawing and watercolour workshop.
'I am so delighted that the university has supported me in running these art workshops working with patients from local hospitals for whom art is an important form of relaxation and therapy,’ commented Weiner.
‘Having already highlighted the amazing sculptures that appear in Regent's Park each summer as well as the Rose Garden, we have now made connections across the park with the Royal College of Physicians and I hope we can return there soon.
‘I also look forward to future relationships and will be investigating the possibility of organising visits to the Zoo and at the Central London Mosque as well as a tour of our own beautiful gardens.'
Caroline Blanchard, Outreach Manager at Regent’s, added: ‘This is our first exciting collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians and we hope to continue developing closer relationships with our neighbours around Regent’s Park in hosting future workshops.
‘It was great meeting the participants and seeing the creation of their artwork in the beautiful and interesting setting of the Medicinal Garden.
‘Since being involved from September 2018 in supporting this, I have seen Julia host a range of subject settings that showcases both art around the Park (such as Frieze Art Fair) and our facilities at Regent’s as students return to produce their artwork on campus. It is a great that we have this opportunity to provide educational access to the local community whilst also raising the profile of the artistic exhibits available on our doorstep.’