Opening minds with creativity, nature and mindfulness …….

Coming up February 3rd from 2-4pm at the National Gallery, London. 

Be mesmerised by the haunting beauty of Gallen-Kallela’s paintings of Lake Keitele in this special mindfulness and slow-looking workshop (limited tickets remaining here).  This is a collaboration between the National Gallery’s Christina Bradstreet and Dr. Tamara Russell, Director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence.



Be guided towards a deeper connection with Gallen-Kallela’s paintings of the Finnish landscape. Step inside from the hustle and bustle of London, Trafalgar Square and indeed, the Gallery itself and experience the inner calm that is available to us when we pause, get into our bodies, and really listen to the message of the artist, conveyed through these incredible pieces of art.

Neuroscientist Tamara Russell will guide a variety of mindfulness practice that will open up whole body awareness to these beautiful images. The National Gallery’s Christina Bradstreet will introduce and guide you in an immersive exploration of the paintings, allowing you to really experience the work in a deeper way and connect to the intent of the artist.

Psychological and neuroscientific research is helping us to recognize the benefits of looking at pictures of nature on our well-being and mental health.  It can even restore our attentional focus when it becomes fatigued and ease the effort of commencing a mindfulness practice.

This is a reminder to find a park or green space near you and get out there and start to pay attention, on purpose, moment by moment and without judging to all you can see. Nature supports us in our mindfulness training and practice. As does creativity. This workshop brings them both together.

See presenter Jon Snow talk about his impressions of the work in this National Gallery Podcast.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela was born in Pori in western Finland on 26 April 1865. As a child he developed a deep love of the Finnish countryside.  From 1878 he enrolled in drawing classes in Helsinki, and like many art students at the time, he continued his training in Paris. Gallen-Kallela maintained an international outlook throughout his career and exhibited widely in the major cities of Europe, for example with Edvard Munch (1863–1944) in Berlin in 1895.

His fame abroad was considerable. Yet he always remained attached to Finland and often returned to paint both the tales and landscapes of its most remote and unspoilt areas.

His Lake Keitele pictures, painted between 1904 and 1906, fuse diverse international trends such as painting outdoors directly in front of the subject, and the decorative abstraction of Symbolism.

Gallen-Kallela’s visit to the Lake was to rest and recuperate following illness. This is a reminder of how beneficial it is to spend time in nature. Join us at this event if you want to see the power of nature and creativity together to support your mind.

Sign up to the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence mailing list to find out more about upcoming Creative Mindfulness events, including the Weaving a New Story Show in Atrium 1 of Guy’s Hospital – going up mid Feb until end of June 2018.

No experience necessary. The session includes some basic meditation practice, suitable for beginners.

Tickets can be booked here.