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Bryan Charnley’s Self Portraits

  • Free
  • Session
  • Audio described
  • Relaxed
Photo of two people looking down at books displayed on a table
Wellcome Collection. Viewing Room. Indigenous Knowledges Showcase. 2022., Steven Pocock. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

What you’ll do

Come to the Viewing Room for this rare chance to see paintings from Bryan Charnley’s series of self-portraits, painted shortly before his death in 1991.

Have a close look at ten paintings from the series, alongside reproductions of the remaining works, and Charnley’s diary entries, which were written as he worked on the series.

Bryan Charnley (1949–91) was a British artist born in Stockton-on-Tees and later based in Bedford. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 1970s, and his self-portraits explore his mental ill health, including the effects of drug treatment and hospitalisations.

At this drop-in event you will have the chance to discuss the paintings and the wider issues of mental health with staff.

A chill-out room will be available.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Viewing Room. It’s next to the Library entrance on level 2, which you can reach by taking the lift or the stairs.

Drop in

Just turn up to this event. It's likely to have room for everyone.

Audio described

Key visual elements referred to during this event will be described.


This is a relaxed event, which means that if you need to, you are welcome to move around and make noise at any time.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your facilitator

A headshot photo of a man with gray hair and beard

Griff Davies

Griff is a Visitor Experience Assistant with a background in art and exhibitions. He has led many discussions about Bryan Charnley’s paintings since starting at Wellcome Collection, and is keen to bring the work to a wider audience.