Common Play: Making Things Happen

As a society we no longer create social spaces naturally. Within mental health the increasing reality is isolation and the lack of opportunity for people to find meaningful and engaging ways to belong to their immediate communities.

Over the past years Artlink projects at the Glasshouses in the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh hospital, Leylines across West Lothian and Curious Routes within Edinburgh have at the heart of their studio practice the motivation to bring people together.

‘We as a group of people meet up, chat, eat, share and listen together. It allows us to creatively explore our realities of isolation, support each other and challenge the lack of meaningful opportunities that people face on a daily basis’ 

These projects become social spaces, a chance to engage and share in conversation. ‘Everyone recognises themselves in how the ideas emerge and the way we make them happen.’ Ideas develop naturally inspired by something as simple as a favourite tune, a movie that inspires a time and place, a shared memory. Common ground emerges and the inspiration to involve others is the next step.

In West Lothian’s Leylines project, Peter Johnstone brought his passion for up and coming Scottish music talent to his local community of Bathgate. ’I want people to experience music locally that they might otherwise have to travel to city centres to experience.’

Edinburgh’s Curious Routes project has been developing conversations around communal play through music and games. ‘Getting together and sharing is on our own terms, we inform our ideas from personal and lived experiences’

The Glasshouses studio is a collective group of artists who create unique projects and events that encourages participation and celebration, as one member of the collective puts it: ‘As a group we have created a safe and supportive environment to explore our ideas. We bounce ideas off one another, it encourages us to be bolder, more ambitious about how we involve others and have fun in what we create’

Over the course of this exhibition at the Tent gallery, Glasshouses, Leylines and Curious Routes will be inviting groups and the public to actively take part in workshops or just enjoy the artworks on display.

A portable ping-pong table will be open for anyone to use. No points, no rules just play. Alongside this listen to music, chat about what motivates us and how we begin to create and be in charge of our own spaces.

Hospital Open Show 2018

It’s nearly time for the annual staff and patient exhibition! This year it will be taking place in the gallery at the Western General Hospital from 1st March – April 2018.

The exhibition so far has been developed by illustrator Laura Cave Macgowan, in collaboration with staff and patients who responded to an earlier call for ideas. She would like to invite you to explore the theme of ‘escapism’ through art, by considering the use of mark-making, lines and pattern in making a piece of work. Perhaps you could take inspiration from what you do to relax or ground yourself. Whether its gardening, visiting a landscape or reading your favourite book, you might want to focus on a detail, such as the surface of a leaf, tiles on a floor, or something more abstract – be as imaginative as you wish!

If you’d like to take part, please read the guidelines and complete the submissions form, returning it to us by Monday 12th February. All artwork should be framed and handed in to the Artlink office by Monday 19th February.

We’re very much looking forward to seeing all of your unique and creative responses to the theme.

If you any questions, then please get in touch.

A Year Out – exhibition by Jenny Richards

Look out for Artlink’s next exhibition in the Pelican Gallery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh – A Year Out, by Jenny Richardson.

The exhibition presents a series of paintings Jenny made in her sixties, drawn from memories of a year she spent away from her family in a hospital for polio affected children in Edinburgh, when she was only four years old.

The paintings beautifully revisit and document this experience, helping to give a new perspective and provide new opportunities for understanding.

Join us for the exhibition opening and a chance to meet Jenny on Friday 9th October, 12.30-1.30pm in the Pelican Gallery, RIE, 51 Little France Crescent. The Pelican Gallery is located on the ground floor south corridor of the hospital, next to OPD4.

For more information contact: 0131 229 3555 / info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk

A Week On Ward 72

There is new exhibition of drawings by Mark Kirkham – ‘The Edinburgh Sketcher’- at the Western General Gallery, documenting a week he spent on Ward 72 at the Royal Victoria Building.

Mark is an illustrator based in Edinburgh who produces an almost daily sketch blog of life in and around Scotland’s beautiful capital; an online sketchbook of scribbles and observations of daily life. We invited Mark in to become an artist in residence in the care of the elderly wards documenting situations and stories from patients and staff. These observational drawings begin to explore how we might communicate healthcare experiences differently and create greater understanding of the patient experience. As one patient told us: “I really enjoyed meeting Mark he came across as a very intelligent and interesting young man who obviously loves to draw. I liked his drawings and the amount of detail he has put, he’s captured North Berwick beautifully although he’s aged me by one year as i’m 90 not 91 but I am in my 91st year so I will let him off. I’ve showed it to some friends and they really like it too. I ended up being in hospital for three months and it was lovely to chat to Mark about other things and for someone from outside to come in to the ward.”

The exhibition of Mark’s residency work as well as some of his other sketches are at the Western General Gallery from now until the end of November. For more information please contact info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk.

In Conversation with Nicola White

ligth and shade banner

Award-winning writer Nicola White – In The Rosary Garden, will be in conversation with Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reader Development, Scottish Book Trust at Morningside Library, 184 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4PU on the 18th February from 6pm–7pm.

As part of Ever, Present, Past, a year long programme commemorating 200 years of The Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Artlink commissioned writer Nicola White to explore the history of the REH, meet with staff and patients and create a fiction based on the hidden stories she uncovered. In the resulting work, a mysterious presence lurks among the corridors of Craig House, a woman walks into the sea and a baby is cared for by strangers. Based on real life stories, it offers a glimpse of the stigma of mental ill health over the centuries.

Nicola and Philippa will discuss the personal memories and documents that she drew on for the publication, the boundaries between fiction and truth, the importance of having our stories told, and the impact of a large psychiatric hospital on the Morningside community. Book early to avoid disappointment!

BOOK HERE

For further information please contact us info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk