Since August 2021 Artlink has been part of the Culture Collective, a network of 26 participatory arts projects, shaped by local communities alongside artists and creative organisations. Funded by Scottish Government emergency COVID-19 funds through Creative Scotland, each unique project is designed and driven by the community in which it is rooted. Some projects work to creatively engage with older community members; some provide opportunities for young women and non-binary people to find their voices; and others address disconnection, loneliness and mental health in post-lockdown world.

Follow Our Rules is Artlink’s Culture Collective project and our reponse to the post-pandemic world. It supports the exploration of long-term partnerships between artists and individuals with complex disabilities, and the people who support them – promoting new ways of working that have emerged from a grass roots level during the pandemic and casting a light on the use of the arts as a tool for change.

“If a society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable, then it is imperative that we take the time to look for equality in our differences and join forces, as together we have a much louder voice”.

What follows are highlights of the exploration and experimentation that is supporting postive action in communities, where combining ideas and skills are central to forging a new creative dialogue.

‘I want your meat & cheese, blood & pie’ PUBLICATION

A collaborative picture book from British artists, Julie Verhoeven and Alan Faulds, whose works – created in response to each other – are layered and collaged together in the publication.

The two share a passion for pop culture, fashion, performance, the macabre and cheesy corn snacks. Their mutual friend, Laura Alridge, from KMAdotcom, a collective of artists with and without learning differences, proposed that Alan and Julie meet online, to see if they could inspire each other during lockdown.

And they did. ‘’Meeting Alan and riffing off his work has had an immense effect on me and my artistic output’’, Verhoeven says. ‘’I have been re-energised to draw again and care less about the outcome, or how the work is perceived, but to simply enjoy the ride. Alan has a fearless energy and deft skill with the brush and pen. His impromptu performances are infectious and joyful, and this energy has affected my attitude to life and work no end’’, Verhoeven explains.

Over the course of 18 months, Alan and Julie met online weekly, created work together, and developed a working partnership . Every week, the pair would prepare sources and inspirations on which they would both draw, and a playlist to which they would dance. In their sessions they would dress up, apply make-up, then come together with their props. There was no clear-cut process of making work however: the duo worked intuitively, amusingly ‘’flying by the seat of our pants’’, as Verhoeven put it.

‘’Our work in response to each other and together is a riotous, flavoursome mix of fashion, horror and humour, with a cheesy top. We enjoy masquerading and moving to the music and trust that the creative outcome is honest, unfiltered and visceral’.’

The book is a way to formalise their work, but without structure. Drawings, collages and photos of their guises are cut-up and combined on the pages. The publication consists of sketches and outcomes of their meetings, and reflects their developing relationship, documented by photographer Annie Collinge.


During lockdown we all found new ways of connecting and creatively occupying our time. Computer screens were taken over by the talking heads of Zoom and WhatsApp became our new best friend. In May 2022, 5th Exit presented the work of a group of artists who devised their own ways of keeping in touch to share ideas, make work and create positive strategies for wellbeing.

5th Exit celebrated what the artists had achieved in a changing exhibition of ideas, experiences, and objects. The exhibition was accompanied by a series of workshops and events expertly led by the artists. They wanted you to have the opportunity to be part of a growing network of likeminded communities who are open to new experiences and supportive of each other’s potential.

“It is that freedom to just be who you are, and to be able to socialise with other people that get you, that really get you. It’s good to feel part of something.’’

We asked one of the artists, Peter Johnstone, to make a special issue of Slush Poppy to help document the 5th Exit. Slush Poppy is a zine he has been making since 2018, it usually covers art, music and anything of interest. We think you will enjoy this latest edition.


The Human Threads exhibition was the culmination of many years of collaboration between Artlink and Cherry Road Learning Centre in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, exploring ways to involve people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in the creative process – through watching, listening and learning from the sensory detail that delights, working intensively to share this with those who care as well as those who are cared for.

“It might seem so simple, a gentle brush on a face, a ball jiggling in a hand – these are all incredibly powerful moments of communication.” 

The interactive landscape of light, sound, touch and smell inspired many during Human Thread’s three month run that  animated by an extensive programme of performative and musical interventions offered an ever-changing and immersive encounter. The response to the exhibition has been so positive and at times overwhelming.

“In the end it’s not about what you are or even who you are. It’s about what we are together. That’s what’s important. The fact that we all need each other, that we need positive relationships, and it is this that makes us human.”

Please visit Human Threads perspectives to hear how others experienced the exhibition and the dedicated Human Threads resources page for further information.


If you came across a 20 metre long inflatable worm parading through the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, what would you do?

If you answered: feed it giant carrots and apples, offer it compost and flowers, and accompany it on its promenade with drumming, music, dancing and chanting, then perhaps you were one of the many people who enjoyed the Worm Walk at the beginning of June. The festival atmosphere of the Worm Walk was the culmination of months of activity that took place during the Spring Fling at the Royal Edinburgh and was a chance for the hospital community to celebrate together.

“The weirdest thing that’s happened in my decade and a half at the Royal Ed, but in a really good way. It was something for everyone to talk about!”

During Spring Fling, organisations based at the hospital, collaborated to create a programme of events including lunchtime concerts, art workshops, bird identification sessions, and a reading from acclaimed local writer Alexander McCall Smith. The events took place over several weeks and celebrated the optimism and regeneration of Spring, with many events themed around nature.

“It was just so energetic and joyful!  It was wonderful. I loved it. I lost one of our volunteers. He joined the worm walk and started carrying the worm, and I just thought that was great great fun. And he said he had a fabulous time”.

The worm itself was conceived by artists Nadia Rossi and Morven Mulgrew and constructed and decorated by patients and volunteers in workshops at the Glasshouses Creative Hub, as well as workshops on the wards.

Supported by:
       City of Edinburgh Council logo link

Room with a View


Artlink would love to see what you see outside your window.

Draw, paint, collage – or even photograph – the view from one of your windows (or doorway, or balcony etc) and send a photo of it to: glasshouses@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk.

We will not include people’s names, but by sending the images to us you are giving us permission to share these artworks online so that others can see the wonderful work produced. Please include a rough location so people can know the area the view is from.


Cherry Road - Colouring in Book

Cherry Road Colouring in Book

We’ve come up with a fun bit of art that you can do at home. We turned portraits of the staff at Cherry Road into a colouring book for one of the residents and want you to join in. Download the book here or the individual sheets below by right-clicking and saving to your computer – they’re A4 sized – and print them off at home if you can. If you look on the cover you’ll see loads of objects you can cut out and add to your picture if you want, or get creative with your own!

We want to see your wonderful creations; you can send us a picture via email here or tag us on Instagram @artlinkedin

Click on each image below to download each individual sheet, or right-click and save to your computer; they will download as pdfs and are sized at A4. You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Online Fun for Midlothian

Online Fun for Midlothian

(Click to jump to section)

Pop Concerts and Chats  |  Scottish Music  |  Quiz Nights  |  Animals  |  Dance Parties  |  Fun Random Stuff | Art Making  |  End of Day Wind Down | Hashtags to Explore

Helpful Hints:

  • If hyperlinks aren’t loading when clicked or are slow to load, copy and paste into internet browser’s address bar.
  • For USA live streams use The Time Zone Converter to convert times for UK

Pop Concerts and Chats

Quello – Free full-length concerts
From Coldplay, Madonna, Maroon 5, The Beatles, Alabama Shakes, Nirvana, The Lumineers, Hall & Oates, Coachella, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Buble, Damian Marley, Korn, Beck, Green Day, Slash, Megadeath, My Chemical Romance, A$AP Rocky, Alice Cooper, Iggy and the Stooges, Taylor Swift, Major Lazer.


Miley Cyrus: Bright Minded Live with Miley. Miley Cyrus’s daily chats with her famous friends. Watch on Facebook, Youtube & IGTV! Stay lit in dark times!

Christine and the Queens host a daily Insta session (10pm GMT). Parisian pop icon Christine is dealing with social distancing in the best possible way: by hosting a nightly live set from her home studio streamed for free via Instagram. Christine and the Queens (Requires Instagram account).

Madonna’s ‘Quarantine Diaries’ Videos involve her singing a version of her hit Vogue that is about eating fried fish, and sitting in a bathtub full of flower petals discussing how Covid-19 doesn’t care about “how rich you are”. It’s certainly compelling. Quarantine Diaries. (Requires Instagram account).

Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie has been streaming live concerts to make us all feel better about staying inside. Death Cab for Cutie Live.

Charli XCX
Pop star Charli XCX has been uploading “self-isolating livestreams” on Instagram. The first episode was an “emo chat” with Christine from Christine and the Queens, in which the two musicians discovered creativity, and Charli wore a ski mask. Then Charli and Diplo did an at-home workout routine together. A couple of days ago she streamed an art class with musician Clairo.

Continuously updated lists of live streamed musical performances and online concerts (click on link or copy and paste links into browser)

Timeout Live Streaming Concerts

Vulture Live Streaming Concerts

U Discover Music

Scottish Music

Edinburgh Ceilidh Club

At home ceilidhs and Scottish music from the Edinburgh Ceilidh Club.


Hashtag to follow with hundreds of Scottish Trad musicians playing music from their homes. COVID Ceilidh.

Quiz Nights

Jimmy Carr – The Little Tiny Quiz of the Lockdown

Updated daily.

Goose’s Quizzes Edinburgh
Our team have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure you don’t have to go without your weekly pub quiz. We plan to do an online quiz every evening for the foreseeable future. Goose’s Quizzes.

The Big Fat Virtual Quiz Fundraiser (Saturday 25th April)
The Big Fat Quiz will be bringing family fun & entertainment right to the home. The quiz will be themed around many of the great TV shows, such as Friends, The Office, Breaking Bad, YOU, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, The Crown and many more. Are there prizes? Don’t you worry! We’ve got some awesome (and not-so-awesome) PRIZES to be won throughout the night so don’t you fear!  The event will be live streamed and you can take part with your phone, tablet or even a laptop, but please note it’s only one device per team. The Big Fat Virtual Quiz.

Zoo Live Streams:

Marwell Zoo in Hampshire features a video webcam of the flamingos and photo webcams of the lemurs, giraffes and penguins – with images updating every 30 seconds or so.

Edinburgh Zoo has a variety of webcams set up for virtual visitors to watch Yang Guang the panda, as well as penguins, tigers and koalas.

Dublin Zoo has a variety of cameras which capture the movements of the elephants, penguins, giraffes, zebras and rhinos.

Enter a Virtual Dog Show
Dog Furiendly is partnering with dog-related businesses across the UK to host Bark Aid, which will raise funds for charities that need support to cope with the virus.

Dance Parties

Every night at 19:00 GMT, BigKitchenDisco takes the edge off social distancing with some social disco dancing. Listen how you like.

You may be trapped indoors, but that doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer. Every Friday while the coronavirus crisis continues, Queer House Party will be streaming a party live from their living room to yours. Hosts Harry Gay, a seasoned DJ known for throwing DIY dance parties, and DJs Wacha and Passer will be spinning mixes of queer bops, throwback pop and techno clangers so you can dance, sing, chat and virtually party with like-minded queers across the world.

BoilerRoom.tv. Direct from artists’ homes and private spaces, these transmissions are a way to remain connected while apart.

One for the night owls – Virtually Nowadays  (Midnight-4am GMT ). One of the best indoor-outdoor clubs in the world, NYC’s Nowadays has closed for the time being but is streaming four-hour-long sets every night.

Art Making

Isolation Art School. Projects, lessons and tips by artists to help people get creative while housebound during the Covid19 crisis.

Artist Activity Packs (coming soon)
Art is where the home is will give you ideas about how to get creative at home. Anyone can have a go – there are no specialist materials required, plus it’s completely free to download. featuring contributions from UK artists including Annie Morris, Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Grayson Perry, Harold Offeh, Idris Kahn, Jeremy Deller, Michael Landy, Ryan Gander and Vanley Burke.

Fun Random Stuff

The Sofa Singers is a free and weekly online singing event from James Sills that brings hundreds of people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection.

Drag Aerobics in your living room with Dolly Trolley. Feeling that lactic acid build up from all those days working at your desk (or bedside table – everyone’s wfh now right)? Get moving with a little help from London cabaret star Dolly Trolley, who will be streaming a drag aerobics class on Instagram and Facebook Live every Wednesday at 7.30pm, straight from Dolly’s living room.

Bongo’s Bingo. The bingo night that combines the fun of Legs Eleven and Two Fat Ladies with intermittent dancing on tables and pub-quiz-style challenges – isn’t letting a lockdown stop the fun. The gang are streaming their bingo events live from their isolation bungalow with bingo, pub quizzes, music, prizes, live call-ins and audience dares thrown in. Players are encouraged to donate to the NHS during each show. Basically, it’s the live, unscripted escapism we’ve all been waiting for.

Your access to Cirque du Soleil content, all in one place. Circus footage, behind the scenes video, virtual reality, learn to paint your face like a performer and circus workout routines.

Science Experiment a Day. Glasgow Science Centre will be bringing a bit of science into your home every day at 10am to help keep everyone inspired in these challenging times. Including ‘Elephant’s toothpaste’ experiment and ‘Make your own lava lamp’.

Lucky Voice Karaoke (One Month Free). If you’re stuck in the house and looking for something to do, then maybe try turn cabin fever to disco fever. For a month’s free subscription to our online karaoke service, head to our online karaoke player and enter code LUCKY20.

HomeTasking from the TV show Taskmaster. Alex Horne here, the Taskmaster(s assistant), to make self isolating and social distancing slightly more bearable with #HomeTasking.

Musical Bingo Cribs is your BIG night IN IN! Gather around a laptop and experience the game like never before as we take things online for a virtual experience! Musical Bingo Cribs is bringing the – virtual – party to you over a night of tunes, challenges and bingo. Get on your glad rags, fix yourself a drink and get ready to dance, drink and lip-sync your way to victory as your hilarious hosts put you through your paces.  Played via Zoom this is your chance to turn your crib into the club and get jiggy with us from the comfort of your home. Musical Bingo: Turning Cribs to Clubs since 2020.

Pianist Led Virtual Sing-a-longs
Each evening, the talented pianists of this currently shuttered New York staple belt out favourite showtunes online. Head to Time Out New York for the weekly schedule and the Venmo address of each player.

Cards Against Humanity
With people searching for ways to stay connected with friends and get some entertainment, a host of new experiences have popped up, one of which is a virtual game of Cards Against Humanity. The online version enables you to come up with just as many dark and hilarious card pairings and watch as your friends do the same. May contain language and content that is not appropriate for all users.

AGENT VENTURE – Online Immersive Game 4-5 Players (paid £5)
EVER WANTED TO BE PART OF A HEIST? Become a team of secret agents, and execute a daring heist from the comfort of your own home. With a live cast, and digital clues to guide you, all you need is a computer and phone to play online.

Magic Masterclass (paid – £9.99)
Learn magic from one of London’s top magicians, live from the comfort of your own home. Over the course of an hour, you will learn six sensational tricks to entertain friends and family, in a fun interactive experience. This class is aimed at the complete beginner. All you need to take part is a deck of playing cards, and some change from your wallet.

End of Day Wind Down

Online Jigsaws
Upload a photo to make your own customised online jigsaw or use a ready made one from the website.Jigsaw Explorer.

Bedtime Stories with Dolly Parton
Goodnight with Dolly. Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time.

Hashtags to Explore

Discover more culture, comedy and connections on Twitter using the following hashtags:


Discovery – finding meaningful activity through the senses

Discovery is a new project to design a digital resource for people with complex needs of any age to find activity to appeal to particular sensory interests. So many of the requests we receive are from parents or carers looking for personal, meaningful opportunities that allow people to connect with something that reflects who they are, and have freedom to enjoy that.

With the expertise of a software engineering team from JP Morgan’s Force for Good programme,  Artlink will create a unique directory to browse experiences from the perspective of people with particular sensory interests in Midlothian by collating knowledge suggested by parents and support teams. Working in collaboration with park rangers, community organisations and heritage facilities we will share opportunities with sensory appeal.

We aim to create a responsive web page (for phone, iPad or desktop) by Summer 2019 to allow parents or carers of people with profound and multiple learning disability to find specific experiences for those they care for.

Watch this short film – it does a better job of describing this project than words!

Discovery will to use unique local knowledge to share meaningful activity.

Where can I watch owls fly?

Where are there interesting places for someone who loves to listen? 

My daughter loves reflection – where can I find lots of mirrors?

I support someone who loves the movement of trains – where can we go? 

Supported by JP Morgan Chase, National Lottery Year of the Young Person and Midlothian Council

Lottery award celebrating young people with creative skills

Young Midlothian People with complex needs awarded Year of the Young Person National Lottery Funding.


£9800 from the National Lottery Year of the Young Person awards will celebrate the creative talents of young people with autism and complex needs. The project entitled Creative Directors, supported by Artlink Edinburgh, will offer one to one support for young people to direct their own community projects focused on their unique skills like acting, drumming, animation and even listening.


The funding will involve six amazing young people from Bilston, Penicuik, Gorebridge and Loanhead, whose untapped talents will be the focus of community activity to benefit other young people in Midlothian;

  • Lewis loves acting but there’s no local group that suited his needs and interests – he will set one up for him and his friends.
  • Jordan has recently showed huge ability for drumming and will organize a music concert for friends and family.
  • Chris has amazing listening skills but needs quiet spaces he can really tune into the sounds around him – he will work with community venues to involve him and many others with complex needs.


Artlink Midlothian Coordinator Kara Christine said “The project focuses on young people who have evident, but untapped talent because the youth groups or activities that exist locally aren’t always set up for people with anxieties or complex support needs. This project will put them in charge in contributing their skills to make a difference for others in Midlothian.”

Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Seona Reid, said “ This funding will help young people to make a positive change in their lives and I wish Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians every success as it works to improve young people’s health and wellbeing in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People.”

Scott vs Demons


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.

Exhibition Venue: Artlink, 13a Spittal street, Edinburgh, EH3 9DY

Comic signing with Alan Grant & Scott Davidson: Friday 25th August, 9.30am- 5pm

Exhibition of Original Artwork: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August,  9.30am – 5pm

Where to buy your copy:  At Artlink, Blackwells Books, Deadhead Comics and other retailers or buy it online by clicking here.

Support Us

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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.

Thank you!

For more information about Gift Aid and the Small Print look here.


Read about the imaginative projects we’ve been creating in Midlothian. Small businesses and individuals have given their time, their skills and their creative spirit to this venture. And what they receive in return is priceless…


Artist Juliana Capes and writer Laura Cameron Lewis create interweaving narratives from generations of women with connections to Portobello Prom across their lives.

But by Anne Donovan

Artlink’s first foray into fiction. Anne Donovan created a beautiful short story in collaboration with carers about their experiences of a care system which does not necessarily offer the support they require.



What would happen if we took time to learn from a person with profound learning disabilities or complex needs and if we found more imaginative ways of interpreting the subtle ways they try to communicate with us? In this magazine you will encounter the beginning of a new way forward.

This publication is also available in Braille, Tape and Large print formats.
Please contact us for your copy.


“I want your meat & cheese, blood & pie” is a collaborative picture book from British artists, Julie Verhoeven and Alan Faulds, whose works – created in response to each other – are layered and collaged together in the publication.

The two share a passion for pop culture, fashion, performance art, the macabre, and cheesy corn snacks. Their mutual friend, Laura Alridge, from KMAdotcom, proposed that Alan and Julie meet online, to see if they could inspire each other during lockdown.

And they did. ‘’Meeting Alan and riffing off his work has had an immense effect on me and my artistic output’’, Verhoeven says. ‘’I have been re-energised to draw again and care less about the outcome, or how the work is perceived, but to simply enjoy the ride. Alan has a fearless energy and deft skill with the brush and pen. His impromptu performances are infectious and joyful, and his kindly spirit has affected my attitude to life and work no end’’, Verhoeven explains.

Over the course of 18 months, Alan and Julie met online weekly, created work together, and developed a special friendship. Every week, the pair would prepare sources and inspirations on which they would both draw, and a playlist to which they would dance. In their sessions they would dress up, apply make-up, then come together with their props. There was no clear-cut process of making work however: the duo worked intuitively, amusingly ‘’flying by the seat of our pants’’, as Verhoeven put it.

This book is a way to formalise their work, but without structure. Pen drawings, painted illustrations, collages of images, and photos of their guises are cut-up and combined on the pages. The publication consists of sketches and outcomes of their meetings, and reflects their developing relationship, documented by photographer Annie Collinge. ‘’Our work in response to each other and together is a riotous, flavoursome mix of fashion, horror and humour, with a cheesy top. We enjoy masquerading and moving to the music and trust that the creative outcome is an honest, unfiltered and visceral’’, Verhoeven states.

“I want your meat & cheese, blood & pie” is a playful, funny and sometimes dark picture book for anyone who is open and curious. “Collaborating with Alan has taught me to care less about how my work might be perceived. It’s very freeing. For starters, I hope our book has that vibe and sense of urgency.” says Julie, “Everybody is an amazing artist.” adds Alan Faulds.

Buy the book from Baron Books , one of the finest art book stockists in the country.

Read more about Julie’s and Alan’s collaborative work on SHOWstudio.

Supported by:



A series of beautiful blankets, currently on display in our Ocean Terminal space till the end of the year, were designed and made in a collaborative project between the Artlink, Care for Carers, Robert Gillan and the six participants.

The six people who took part all have lived experience of caring for someone within their family. While each of their caring experiences are different, they were brought together through this project.

Through meeting as a group with Robert Gillan at Suntrap Garden they were taken through a 12 week process from initial research, concept design and layout through to production.

Supported by:



You might be wondering that if you encountered a 20 metre long inflatable worm parading through the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in the spring of last year, what the creative minds in the studios at the Glasshouses would come up with this year?


In late August a flock of birds took of from the Glasshouses to wing its way around the grounds of the hospital. Was it a flock of seagulls, a muster of peacocks or plump of ducks? Of course it was all of them. The weather was kind and led by compere George Demure the procession took off!

The Murmuration March was accompanied by rhythmic drumming of Omar Afif and interspersed with amazing poetry of Simon Porter which formed linking moments along the route.

Supported by:


During the winter and spring the Viva Boghall drew ever growing numbers to the open studio to come try there had at embroidering, textiles, woodwork and cooking. We shared warmth and food, were introduced to freestyle tufting, new embroidery and textile skills, wood carving and other creative techniques. It was an opportunity to develop ideas that had been bubbling away for a number of months.

As the days lengthened and momentum grew, ideas emerged for a creative and social day in Boghall. A positive way to share skills, give focus to the creative work and of course a perfect opportunity to bring people together to enjoy some food! Together with Boghall Primary School, St Columba’s Primary School, Boghall Parish Church and Boghall Drop in Centre we set about organising a day of community celebration at the end of May, breathing new life into community days of old.

On the 27th of May all the hard work came together in packed and busy day of spray painting, embroidery, pizza, music – from classical to brass band to electropop, taekwondo, woodworking and much more.

Supported by:



Everyone has their own perspective on the Human Threads exhibition. What follows is a cross section of these experiences – to establish a fuller picture of the artworks and their impact. We learn from taking the time to understand the specifics of involvement, we understand that each person has their own very particular way of being involved. Our intention is to share these different perspectives to establish a more generous understanding of each other and the common ground we share.



Make the most of the Human Threads exhibition by attending one of the accessible events and performances that animates the space in differnt ways.

The events collection can be found HERE.

The exhibition is conceived as an accessible, creative experience informed by individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities, and takes the form of an interactive landscape which invites audiences on a journey of light, sound, touch and smell. From a huge silk sail which sways softly, to sculpture that translates audio into vibrating pulses, and a playful tower emitting light, smoke and bubbles – each artwork within this gentle fairground offers a new encounter.

Human Threads is the culmination of years of pioneering research by Artlink and the Cherry Road Learning Centre. The works expand our perceptions of what an artwork might be and break down barriers of access to contemporary art. Throughout Human Threads the physical experience of the artwork becomes a shared, communal language through which to explore new possibilities of human perception.

LONG READ | 2021 - Collaboration Creates Possibilities

Highlights from another unexpected year. One where limitless generosity of time, spirit and creativity created many more amazing moments worth marking. Across Artlink people and projects spent another year finding new ways to work, building on the lessons learned the previous year and creating something memorable. 

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At the start of the year spirits were lifted with Friday night Zoom discos from Indepen-dance, weekly online performances from musicians, and entertainers with Thursday Live, and online performance,  music and art workshops from The Makers.

Arts Access kept bringing arts and culture into our homes with monthly newsletters featuring news, reviews, and recommendations alongside seasonal listings of accessible online offerings.

KMAdotcom and The Makers resident wordsmith Marc Smith got us all reading with the inaugural publication of his magazine MARC MY WORDS featuring his poetry, artwork and an interview with Tate curator Linsey Young.

For those who wanted to learn something new In Stitches our online sewing project was born. A remote gathering of wannabe embroiderers and master sewers, who shared their ideas and inspiration, to produce some incredible textile pieces.

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Spring brought a chance to venture out further, with members of Arts Access enjoying trips around Edinburgh with Lissa and Betsy the tri-shaw. From Bruntsfield, and The Meadows to The Botanics, Arts Access and Vintage Club members loved whizzing through the streets, parks and gardens of the City, with outings sparking impromptu poetry recitals and usually ending with some alfresco refreshments. As the year progressed trips to museums, galleries, pop-up outdoor events at the Festival, and finally panto, have all be possible with the help of our fantastic volunteers.

In Midlothian Artlink and Cherry Road continued to work together on an Outreach Programme that included bringing performers into people’s gardens and outdoor spaces as the weather brightened and restrictions allowed with Thursday Live on Tour.

The Socialites continued to support young people across Midlothian and East Lothian with personalised workshops online and in real life when restrictions lifted for over 70 young people, with the project featuring in Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland’s June event ‘The Role of Culture in the Health and Wellbeing of Young People.’ One Socialite Ruby Stone transported us to another world with her ‘Book of Miscreations’ a perfect tonic for the times, which proved so popular that the initial release of her publication sold out in the first week!

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As the year continued KMAdotcom were delighted to reunite in the studio, meet some of the new members, and start collaborating in person. For a hefty dose of creative inspiration make sure to check out their Instagram.

Long-time KMAdotcom collaborators Leanne Ross and Laura Aldridge had great success with an acclaimed group show at Glasgow International Visual Arts Festival, a feature in Scottish Contemporary Art Networks #ArtUnlocks…Wellbeing blog, and taking work to Frieze London, which saw Leanne’s work bought by many collectors including the Government Art Collection!

Curious Routes and Leylines continued exploring their shared love of making, gardening and collaborative conversations, with work expanding out to include new projects and locations with Pentland Court, St John’s Hospital, a new studio at Howden Park Centre and the gorgeous surroundings of Suntrap Studio and Garden.

Carrying on from last year’s lockdown film collaboration A Frame is Not a State of Mind Chris McAdam and James McLardy produced another film Summer into Autumn, with Chris and James recently speaking about their process during Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland’s December event ‘A Frame is not a State of Mind – Artist Talk/Creative Coffee Break Conversation’

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At the Hospitals our fantastic volunteers at The Glasshouses, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, helped tame the post lockdown garden, worked on DIY projects to adapt the internal space, got involved in creative workshops and of course enjoyed plenty of tea, cake and chats – you can check out what they’ve been up to on their new page Friends of the Glasshouses

Common Thread has been one of the most popular workshops at The Glasshouses, introducing weaving and other textile techniques and taking part in craftivism for COP26 with Stitches for Survival.

Some long-term projects on the wards at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, which had been affected by shutdowns over the past year, came to an end. This included the production of a publication to accompany last year’s Edinburgh Landmarks exhibition, and Inside | Out  – the sited work and exhibition which culminated from artist Nick Evans workshops. Check out Nick’s tour of his studio for the project members here.

This is just a fraction of the fantastic work that projects have been up to, stay tuned for more updates and exciting events in the New Year. Wishing everyone a peaceful festive break and hoping for a brighter 2022. 

Arts Access - Online Arts and Culture (Early 2022)

Opera and Classical Music  |  Theatre  |  Literature  |  Dance Comedy  |  Film  |  Arts and Culture Virtual Tours  |  Scottish Art Gallery and Museum Tours   Life Drawing Scottish History and Culture  


Breath Cycle – Scottish Opera For people with breathing difficulties and those recovering from COVID-19. Singing is a fun and creative way to improve your health and wellbeing – no experience necessary! The benefits of singing regularly are widely recognised, from improved lung function and circulation to a strengthened immune system, improved posture, and better breath control – it can even provide relief from stress and anxiety. (Free)

SCO – Digital Season A wide variety of streamed online performances from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s new season (Free) 

Scottish Opera: On Screen A growing collection of Scottish Opera films, including brand new commissions from contemporary music makers, re-workings of much-loved favourites and staged concert performances. Created exclusively to be experienced on-screen. (Free) (Captioned and audio described performances available) 

RSNO – Spring/Summer 2022 Digital Season Three wonderful concerts featuring Steven Osborne performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No4, rising star Tabita Berglund conducting Sibelius’ Symphony No5 and Music Director Thomas Søndergård conducting Beethoven’s epic Symphony No9. Enjoy the live streams from the comfort of your own home and watch on demand until 30 June 2022. On demand viewing will be available from the Wednesday after the live stream. (Paid)

RSNO – Free Digital Content Digital content including ‘Spotlight on our Orchestra’, ‘For the Family’, ‘Digital Season Highlights’ , ‘Our Chorus’ and ‘Principals in the Spotlight’. (Free – scroll to bottom half of their page)

Theatre Listings

 National Theatre of Scotland – Digital Content  A selection of video and audio content from the National Theatre of Scotland available to stream online – scroll to bottom of the linked page for digital content. (Free)(Captioned Performance)(Audio Described Performance)

Sundown Stories – Capital Theatres Sundown Stories is a series of short stories adapted for film for anyone who might enjoy a calming and relaxing story. The stories, written by and for persons living with dementia, are delivered in a calming environment, a gentle pace and soothing tone. (Free) (Captioned, some BSL, Dementia Friendly)

The Dream Frequencies – Traverse (Audio Play) Journey with MJ and his contributors from dusk until dawn – from the unsettling to the bizarre to the soothing and back again – in this immersive audio theatre experience which transports listeners into the unknown and unexpected worlds inside the heads and under the eyelids of others. (Free)(Transcript available for each episode)

StageText Listings of online captioned performances, talks and events from across the UK. (Free and Paid)(Captioned)

Vocal Eyes Provides listings of Audio Described online theatre performances and events accessible to blind and partially sighted people. (Free and Paid) (Audio Described)

Literature Listings
Online Guide to Scottish Poets – The Scottish Poetry Library Online A popular resource for lovers of poetry the world over (Free)

National Library of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)


SBTV – Scottish Ballet Online Trailers, tutorials, behind the scenes videos and short documentaries from Scottish Ballet. (Free)

Comedy Listings

The Stand on Demand Archive of performances from The Stand comedy club. (Paid)

Film Listings

MUBI.com features hand-picked films to watch or download. From forgotten gems to festival-fresh cinema. From cult classics to award-winning masterpieces. Changes daily.   (Paid)

British Film Institute Rent the latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the BFI, national and regional archives. (Paid and free)

Virtual Tours

Weymss Caves, Scotland 4D tour online. (Free)

Edinburgh Landmarks Virtual Tours of Edinburgh’s buildings, attractions, view points and famous streets. Use the arrows to move around and explore. (Free)

Arts and Gallery

CCA Annex An online project space for interviews, films, essays, publications and performances from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (Free)(Accessible website options) 

Ray Harryhausen:  Titan of Cinema virtual exhibition experience – National Galleries of Scotland The virtual experience includes five specially created films, images and texts from the exhibition, and archive films and objects from Ray Harryhausen’s life and work and 3D model videos. (Paid)

National Galleries of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)

Night Walk for Edinburgh – The Fruitmarket Gallery Following Janet Cardiff’s voice and walking in her footsteps, as you participate in Night Walk for Edinburgh you will be led through the backstreets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, unravelling a disjointed tale – part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry, perhaps even a murder mystery – layered with history, invention and memories. (Free)

2020: Stories, Portraits, Visions – Scottish National Portrait Gallery Online and in gallery, a display which offers visitors an opportunity to reflect on the events of this year and glimpse brief snapshots into other lives lived during this difficult and troubling time. (Free)

National Museums of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Sculpture Park described virtual tour. (Visual Impaired Accessible. Free)

Life Drawing

The ATYN online drawing club All are welcome to join from anywhere in the world. We can all sketch together, taking 2 hours to relax and create. (Paid)

Scottish History & Culture Listings

 Scottish Storytelling Centre Online Events A selection of online events from the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Self-Guided Audio Walks Compiled by The University of Edinburgh a collection of walking routes and audio tours of Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond. (Free)  

The National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive (formerly the Scottish Screen Archive) has something for everyone. Explore around 100 years of Scotland’s history captured by amateur and professional filmmakers. (Free)

SCRAN Cultural heritage learning blog which offers digital access to over half a million photographs, moving images and sounds from museums, galleries, libraries, archives and the media. (Free)

Lost Edinburgh an online, interactive archive, allows its followers to share, discuss and learn from the city’s colourful past through like minded individuals and even the city’s own residents. (Free)

Historic Environment Scotland Explore the collections online – archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage. (Free)

Pastmap.org Dig deep into the history of places in Scotland and beyond to discover fascinating insights into hidden stories and histories of buildings, towns and cities. (Free)

Tobar an Dualchais contains a wealth of Gaelic and Scots recordings such as folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, traditions, stories and other information.  (Free)

Historic Environment Scotland Explore their object collection online. (Free)

School of Scottish Studies Archives Explore an online collection of traditional music from the Shetland Isles. (Free)

Please note: Artlink is not responsible for the content of external links, and some sites may require registration and/or payment to view content.

KMAdotcom: Leanne and Laura

Leanne Ross and Laura Aldridge are both members of Artlink supported artist collective KMAdotcom, a studio based in Midlothian that brings together a diverse group of artists in a supportive space which encourages collective and individual creativity.

Weekly workshops, over several years, sparked an invaluable connection between Leanne and Laura which has developed into a strong working relationship based around sharing ideas, inspiring, and challenging each other. The arrival of Covid last year meant that for a while workshops were on pause, but Leanne and Laura managed to keep developing ideas and working towards exhibiting at Glasgow International (GI) 2020, Scotland’s largest festival for contemporary art, through virtual studio vists, and when possible garden workshops.

It was with great disappointment, but understanding, that they found out GI would be postponed as restrictions continued. However, Leanne and Laura kept making work throughout the year, with Leanne receiving a commission from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Trust to brighten up their Rest and Relaxation Hubs, and they were featured in ‘The National Lottery’s Portraits of The People’ in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.

It was wonderful news to hear that GI would be running during Summer 2021 and that the group exhibition The Outside is Inside Everything We Make conceived by Laura and featuring work from Laura, Leanne, and Judith Scott could go ahead. A fantastic, colourful and vibrant show that proved the perfect tonic to the past year, the show was chosen as one of the Fleming Collection’s ‘Glasgow International: Our Highlights’.

Glasgow gallery Kendall Koppe, held the exhibition in their space South of the river. An immersive exhibition which saw works displayed against a backdrop of specially design wallpaper and window decals designed by Leanne and produced through Omnicolours Artist Award Scheme.  A sense of the space can still be gathered through an in-depth video study, available online for any who missed the show, or those who want to revisit it. To accompany the exhibition, an editioned artist publication was produced which includes striking images from the exhibition alongside an essay by Nicola Wright. Copies are available to purchase through Good Press.

“As a whole, the works in ‘The Outside Is Inside Everything We Make’ are defined by material and interpretative mobility. They are slippery with meaning, full of narrative and sensory references that sometimes complete and sometimes oppose one another”. Nicola Wright, Essayist/Curator

Things didn’t stop after the exhibition ended, with Leanne and Laura going on to feature in the article ‘#ArtUnlocks…Wellbeing’ by the Scottish Contemporary Art Network, and as restrictions eased further and other largescale events were able to go ahead Leanne and Laura’s work travel down to Frieze London, with Kendal Koppe Gallery, to reach and inspire an even wider audience.

“Leanne’s debut at Frieze London was met with incredible enthusiasm. Her shout out paintings struck a chord with many viewers who felt personally connected to Leanne’s visual language. Many of Leanne’s works were placed in both private and public collections, including the Government Art Collection.” Kendall Koppe, Director – Kendall Koppe Gallery

We’re delighted to announce that ‘Me Time’ has been purchased by the Government Art Collection. Congratulations Leanne!