Mental Health Awareness Class

This virtual art class invited participants to draw animal portraits inspired by English artist and illustrator Louis Wain who was best known for his drawings of anthropomorphized cats. Wain’s mental health had a significant impact on his work and soon after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, his pictures of cats morphed from large eyed caricatures, usually picturised in social situations, into colourful, geometric arrangements.

Suitable for all abilities, this session explored two phases of Wain’s artistic life. The first focussed on his signature feline portraits where participants emphasised a cat’s features such as its eyes and fur to create a similar anthropomorphized effect. The second took inspiration from Wain’s dazzling, fractal cats. This was a moment to dive into the mindful process of patterning and shape making to create a psychedelic feline portrait.