New blog out now: Cath(art)sis: how women in historical and contemporary art have used their practice to process their trauma. Read here!                                                                                                                                                                                         


In 2019, Artist Alison Lapper’s son Parys died after an accidental drug overdose. Parys suffered with his mental health from the age of 13. Bullied because his Mum was different, Parys suffered from anxiety, depression and was self-harming.

Determined that Parys death won’t be in vain, Alison together with Producer and Director, Victoria Holden and the team at Chalk Productions set up the Drug of Art project.

Our mission is to introduce art to young people to provide an alternative form of mental health support and well-being.

We are delighted to have the support and expertise of Young Minds and the Michael Aldrich Foundation.

The Exhibition

The Drug of Art exhibition is inspired by the devastating effects of mental health and illustrates how for many, art can be a successful form of therapy. Alison Lapper exhibits her recent work following the death of her son Parys, alongside two of her friends; Marc Quinn and Rankin. These artists have all overcome difficulties in their lives by turning to art. They will be exhibiting work that explores their struggles with mental health creating a dialogue that will encourage young people to use art in their own mental health journeys.

Education Project

We are working with the Michael Aldrich Foundation to deliver workshops in schools, youth groups and diverse communities. Artists, including Alison Lapper will be running these workshops and will look at body image and mental health, encouraging young people to express themselves through art. Barriers are broken down by getting students to paint using their feet and mouth, like Alison. The best pieces of work produced will be showcased at the exhibitions.

Drug of Art Podcast

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (9-13 May 2022), we will be launching the first episode of the Drug of Art podcast. Hosted by Alison Lapper, artists will provide an insight into how art has been a tool of exploration, understanding and healing for their mental self. This discussion will provide inspiration for all generations on how to channel their emotions through art, in a variety of processes and mediums.


We have launched a crowdfunder specifically to raise money for the education programme. With your support we will be able to take workshops and seminars from acclaimed artists into schools. Read more about where this money will go and donate here.
As part of the fundraising, a selection of our artists are donating a design to be used on a t-shirt for a ‘reward’ - these will be limited edition prints from Lapper, Rankin, Mansfield and more. 

Chalk Productions

Chalk Productions works with the best filmmakers in the industry to tell authentic, innovative, and real-life human stories that touch the hearts of audiences. Our mission is to reflect on our diverse communities and bring to light unheard voices. We motivate and encourage others, push the boundaries, question why things are and are bold in how we tell stories.

In parallel to The Drug of Art, Chalk Productions is making a documentary fronted by Alison Lapper. 

Young Minds

Young Minds are the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health making sure every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.

Michael Aldrich Foundation

The Michael Aldrich Foundation is an independent charity (Charity Number 1047341) which aims to promote education, particularly arts education, and which has a focus on community arts projects.

The Foundation’s major asset is the Aldrich Collection of contemporary art hosted by the University of Brighton.


Parallel is a dynamic social enterprise that supports the disabled community to live life to the full in mainstream society, through an attitude of ‘No Limits Living’, Notable events and campaigns include the flagship Parallel Windsor - an award-winning Festival of Inclusivity and series of challenge events staged in the iconic Windsor Great Park. Parallel is also behind #PurpleSockDay - a national engagement campaign, which supports disabled entrepreneurs.  


Beyond is a youth mental health charity founded by Jonny Benjamin MBE, that exists to improve young people’s mental health in the UK.

The charity is driven by inspiring youth mental health activists. They are the heart and soul of the charity and make up Beyond’s youth board. These 30+ campaigners co-produce everything that Beyond does and in doing so, raise the voices of the voiceless to drive meaningful change and impact.