The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind

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The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind

Join Grayson Perry and many other leading artists in The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind exhibition to support two NHS hospitals.

The National Brain Appeal’s art fundraiser A Letter in Mind is back, asking artists to get creative on an envelope.

Now in its eighth year, artists are invited to respond to the theme ‘Making Your Mark’, using a simple white envelope as their starting point.

The event will, once again, be virtual this year, taking place from 4-7 November.

All artworks will be exhibited anonymously, priced identically at £85. The identity of the artist is revealed at the end of the exhibition, once the artwork has sold. Also, during the week of the exhibition, several high profile artists who regularly take part in A Letter in Mind will be hosting virtual workshops on behalf of the charity.

During these unprecedented times, participation in the exhibition provides a wonderful way for artists to show their support for the NHS, as all proceeds from the exhibition will fund projects at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCL Institute of Neurology in London’s Queen Square.

Political cartoonist and author Chris Riddell was very quick off the mark to send in his artwork for the 2021 event. He is taking part for the second time.

Chris Riddell's 2018 exhibition entry

Grayson Perry has taken part several times since A Letter in Mind launched in 2014. He submitted three artworks for the 2020 exhibition, the charity’s most successful year to date, with more than 500 artists taking part and a record £55,000 raised to help support people with neurological conditions.  

Grayson said: 'Creating an artwork on an envelope for The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind exhibition is a simple and wonderful way to show your support for the NHS. The charity injects an air of mystery and fun into the event, with the artist behind each piece remaining anonymous until their work is sold. It is also accessible, with all pieces priced identically at £85, and the money raised going towards helping people with neurological conditions and supporting vital projects at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.'

Grayson Perry's entry for last year's exhibition

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2020 winner, artist and portrait painter, Mark Entwisle, has taken part in A Letter in Mind since 2019, the year he had treatment for a brain tumour at The National Hospital. Mark had a vestibular schwannoma, also known as acoustic neuroma, a tumour that grows on the nerve used for hearing and balance.

Mark said: 'I am always delighted to take part. I have direct experience of what The National Hospital can do for patients. I feel so grateful for how they helped me and also for everything they, and all NHS staff, have been doing to help patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking part in A Letter in Mind was such a perfect way for me to show my gratitude.'

Mark Entwisle's entry for last year's exhibition

Reflecting on the theme for this year’s exhibition, Eva Tait, curator of The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind, said: 'After a year in and out of ‘lockdown’, we have had time to reassess our place in society and in the world. We are looking to tentatively re-establish our relationship with everything around us, as well as adapting to how it (and we) might have changed.  How do we make our mark in this altered world? Do we want to continue life in the same way as before? Do we feel strongly about another role, cause or way of living? Is it back to the humdrum or can we influence, inspire and ‘make our mark’ in new and improved ways?

'We can build and take inspiration from one of the oldest activities in the world – mark making. People have made marks to connect, tell stories and communicate since our time began. Alongside the growth of the digital world, we still have a desire for the handmade to affect us; touchpoints in an increasingly ‘hands off’ virtual environment.

'We are looking forward to seeing how artists will be making their mark for A Letter in Mind 2021 whilst raising vital funds The National Brain Appeal.'

Deadline for entries is July 16, 2021. For more details and to register to take part in A Letter in Mind, go to:


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