Mark Titchner: the medium is the message

Mark Titchner is a British artist whose artworks explore systems of belief in the style of corporate messages. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006 and created the notable ‘No Them Only Us’ public artwork for the 2017 Mayor of London's #LondonIsOpen campaign. Mark participated in our recent project at Snowsfields Adolescent Unit at Maudsley Hospital and created this beautiful hand painted mural, with its complex graphic patterns in shades of blue and white, following multiple visits to the unit. Dedicating time to meet with patients and staff, Mark sought to understand the particular uses of different areas in the unit and how various spaces are experienced by individuals. 

Mark Titchner, the Family Room at Snowsfields Adolescent Unit, The Maudsley Hospital

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For Family Therapist Sam Parker, the multilayered image with its interwoven paradoxical message ‘Believe Dreams’ which Mark Titchner has created in the Family Room at Snowsfields Adolescent Unit, ‘brilliantly reflects aspects of the work that take place within the room’. 

 'An important aim of family therapy’, Sam explains, ‘is to simultaneously accept the often contradictory ideas of young people, parents and staff and to hold them as all being different parts of the same picture.'


Family Therapy, also known as Systemic Therapy, involves exploring interactional patterns and dynamics within different relationships and groups, encouraging participants to acknowledge and explore different perspectives and layers of meaning. For Sam, the complexity of the therapeutic work that takes place in the Family Room is captured in the complexity of the artwork Mark Titchner has created.

Sam has been inspired by Mark Titchner’s ‘Believe Dreams’, to recognise the place for creativity in his own work:

Family Therapy also attempts to help all participants to lean into their creativity and to brave new ideas and the art is inspirational to me to be more creative in this endeavour’. 


Work like this would not be possible without the generosity and support of Hospital Rooms’ friends and donors. With your help we can transform more NHS mental health care environments across the UK and give more people the opportunity to be touched and inspired by the unique and radical work that we do.

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