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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.
Glasgow’s Life Model, Adullboy, Idkid and Mad Rodents and their unique gig for Mental Health on September 30th in Boghall, Bathgate, West Lothian.
We held a one-off gig bringing the best of Scotland’s songwriting talent under one humble roof in West Lothian as part of our project Leylines which hosts creative connections for mental health in West Lothian.
Local resident Peter Johnstone was the power behind this grassroots event – inspired by his passion for the current vibrant Scottish music scene. ‘I wanted to bring fresh Scottish talent to a small town in West Lothian where I come from. I wanted to give others incredible live music without the need to get to the city centres. Music is helpful in so many ways, it brings us out of ourselves and is a connection with others. Creativity is a joy and an escapism’
Chris Smith from Life Model said ‘It’s important to take any opportunity to raise awareness and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and get more people to talk about it”
As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, Artlink launches Scott vs Demons, a comic which takes a satirical look at the bureaucratic mistreatment of vulnerable people with chronic ill health and disabilities.
The comic takes as its starting point the experience of Scott Davidson, a young man with autism, and goes on a flight of fantasy where we get to experience the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) assessment process for the ridiculous farce it is.
On show at Artlink will be the original artwork for the comic and an opportunity to meet with some of the people behind the comic and talk with them about the ideas behind its creation.
It is a quick and easy way to support our Arts Access service which provides opportunities for disabled people to enjoy the arts. A relatively small donation can make a big difference!
£5 pays for return transport.
£10 helps towards a theatre ticket.
For more information about Gift Aid and the Small Print look here.
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