Crouch End artists raise funds for brain charity

Mark Entwisle (second from left) with fellow A Letter in Mind artists

Mark Entwisle (second from left) with fellow A Letter in Mind artists, actor Stephen Campbell Moore, Matilda Swift-Barnard, Craig Barnard (whose paintings are pictured) and Anita Mangan. - Credit: Marie Mangan

An award-winning Crouch End artist is taking part in a fundraiser for the hospital which treated him for a brain tumour

2020 Sunday Times Watercolour Competition winner, Mark Entwisle is joining other artists in donating an envelope-sized artwork to The National Brain Appeal’s A Letter in Mind exhibition.

The portrait painter is also running a virtual watercolour workshop to raise cash for the charity which fundraises for The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Artwork by Mark Entwisle for the 2020 A Letter in Mind exhibition

Artwork by Mark Entwisle for the 2020 A Letter in Mind exhibition - Credit: Courtesy of the artist

The 59-year-old said: "I am always delighted to take part. I have direct experience of what The National Hospital can do for patients and feel so grateful for how they helped me and also for everything that all NHS staff, have been doing during the Covid pandemic. Taking part in A Letter in Mind was such a perfect way for me to show my gratitude.”

Other Crouch End and Muswell Hill artists taking part in the online art sale include Lisa-Marie Price, Russell Herron, Carol Tarn, Lucy Smith, Julie Held, Helen Brough, Jo Angell, Stella Yarrow, Anita Mangan, Matthew Cooper, Craig Barnard and his daughter Matilda Swift-Barnard.

All have created work on the back of an envelope which will be displayed anonymously online and available to buy for £85 from November 4 at 11am.

Entwisle was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014 and monitored at The National Hospital with annual MRI scans for five years, before he was advised to have it removed. Surgery carried a risk of losing his hearing in his right ear so he opted for less invasive gamma knife radiosurgery. The treatment in March 2019 took place over an intense morning but he was back home by the afternoon, took pain killers and within two months felt back to normal.

Mark Entwisle's artwork donated to the 2019 A Letter in Mind exhibition

Mark Entwisle's artwork donated to the 2019 A Letter in Mind exhibition - Credit: Courtesy of the artist

During 15 years as an illustrator, Entwisle designed record covers, jackets for Penguin Books, and posters for the National Theatre. But he then switched to portrait painting and in 1999 had his first artwork accepted by the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery.

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Going through school with undiagnosed dyslexia he says he "always had this sense that I was behind."

"Reading and spelling were so difficult for me and I felt stupid.”

The one day, his headmaster walked into a room full of pupils, held up a drawing asked whose it was.

“He was looking over at the older boys and was surprised when I put my hand up. I was only seven and he said it was an excellent drawing! From that point on I identified myself as an artist. Where others read, I draw. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

A Letter in Mind - Making Your Mark previews from November 2 with sales opening at 11am on November 4 at aletterinmind.org

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