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.

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!


For further information please contact us

Ever Present Past – saturday morning talks

VOICESSaturday 1st February, 11am, Talbot Rice Gallery
Voices from the Past 

Join us for a performative talk by Pauline Goldsmith and Ruth Honeybone, travelling backwards and forwards through time, creating a picture of the Royal Edinburgh hospital from the perspective of the people who have lived and worked there over the past 200 years.

During the research for Mark Dion’s ‘200 Years, 200 Objects’, many stories about the Royal Edinburgh Hospital were unearthed. Some of these were obvious fabrications, whilst others would appear to be true, but all need to be told.

Artlink has put together a talk which knits together all these stories, from interviews and anecdotes found within the archive, to old newspaper articles and letters from 19th century patients. The result is a fascinating portrait of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital that is at times sad, at times humorous.

Introduced by Alison Stirling, Artlink.
Pauline Goldsmith is an award winning actress, comedian and writer.
Ruth Honeybone is manager of Lothian Health Services Archive and has been a key contributor to the research behind the Ever, Present Past exhibition.

This is a FREE event, but booking is required.

Saturday 8 February, 11am, Talbot Rice Gallery
Healing for Mind & Body – a history of hospital landscapes in Scotland

In an illustrated talk, Christopher Dingwall will consider how the designed landscapes that surround many of Scotland’s hospitals came to be seen as important in the treatment of patients.

The pioneering work of Dr. W.A.F. Browne, first at the Montrose Asylum, and later at the Crichton Royal Institution in Dumfries, will be considered, as will the way in which his ideas on occupational therapy grew out of his links with the early 19th century phrenological movement. Parallels with be drawn with other reform movements of the period, which saw the development of public parks and garden cemeteries.

Christopher Dingwall is a freelance landscape historian, formerly Conservation Officer, and now Honorary Research Adviser to the Garden History Society in Scotland. Among his special interests is that of 19th century social reform movements, and the ways in which these were reflected in the design of parks and gardens of the period.

This is a FREE event, but booking is required.


ever present past invite

Artlink is delighted to present a series of commissions realised as part of the yearlong Ever / Present / Past programme in the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery.

The history of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital spans 200 years, covering many life times and diverse experiences of the psychiatric system.  These experiences, some sad, some heartening, some funny and some down right odd, give a different insight into the everyday life of this Hospital and the ways in which it has changed over the years.

Over the past year an immense programme of research was undertaken in which artists Mark Dion, Claire Barclay, Anne Elliot, Laura Aldridge, Laura Spring, Alex Wilde and writer Nicola White became researchers. Each devised their own approach to involving the individuals they met with. Patients, staff, managers, archivists and local communities all have contributed to the dialogue. Some became researchers, others characters in stories, consultants offering advice or co-creators making work.

Their collated experiences now offer us new perspectives of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s history.

The exhibition runs from the 16 November till 15 February 2014. A full programme of talks and events accompanies the exhibition which will be published next week.

To celebrate the hospital’s rich tradition of making, we created a range of original objects designed by patients in collaboration with artists, designers and manufacturers.

For further information please contact us

Voices From The Past


Join us on the 28th of August from 5.30pm at the Divisional Lecture Theatre, Kennedy Tower, Royal Edinburgh Hospital for an idiosyncratic journey through the last 200 years.

Hear the voices of staff, patients and local people unearthed within the LHSA archives and interviews of patients and staff. Sometimes sad, sometimes heart warming, they combine to weave a compelling story of the everyday.

This talk is part of ‘Ever Present Past’ project at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital developed and coordinated by Artlink. The project explores the history of the Hospital through a series of talks, events and workshops and artist placements throughout 2013 – the Hospital’s bi-centenary

Sing Along


In July the Western General Hospital Choir entertained patients at the Royal Victoria Building with songs from the Beatles to musical numbers from Les Mis. We explore how it came into being….

The choir is very much chaplain Liz Markey’s brainchild and started with a chat about her involvement in the Artlink Crafty Lunches. She had enjoyed the sociable, relaxing atmosphere of the sessions and the new skills gained. In conversation we soon arrived at an idea of where to take these positive experiences next; how about a staff choir where people come together, relax and sing a few songs together?  We liked it immediately.

Luckily enough we have Nicky at Artlink to design lovely posters.  We set about advertising the opportunity to join the new staff choir and were really pleased to be met by an enthusiastic response.


Under the leadership of Liz we soon established strong core of regular singers with others dropping in and out of the 45 minute lunch time session as their schedules allowed. Within a few months the choir was ready to perform: Last December we went round the wards in the RVB singing carols for patients-thereby giving purpose to our fun. The event was enjoyed greatly by the patients and indeed ourselves’.

This summer we visited the wards again to great acclaim!

Please contact Vanessa or Kirsty for further information .

Unique Posters

JBS Poster
Julie Busk

Over the last months we have been working with visual artists Andrew Gannon to create a unique series of one-off posters, documenting our beekeeping activities to date. Andrew’s own practice is very much informed by the documentation of his life performances in poster format – go and have a look at his latest work!

Keeping Bees – final instalment


June 2013 – On the 30th of May our double Smith hives are delivered to Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeepers Association’s apiary in West Edinburgh. They are immediately put into use with new colonies being housed within them. The completed hives will hopefully yield some honey this year and continue to be used for many more years to come. The hives are dedicated to the memory of a true friend and participant on the project, Carolyn Ellis who sadly passed away in January 2012.

We want to continue with our endeavours in bee keeping and establish are exploring various options; from people’s gardens to placing hives on rooftops. We will continue to make our own hives and build on our experience so far in beehive making and beekeeping in Edinburgh. Recently we have been donated parts of National and Smith hives by EMBA to help us carry on our interest in beekeeping.

Please contact for more information.

Keeping Bees – introduction to beekeeping


May 2013 – It is time now to get our interested beekeepers skilled up. Michael Black, Iain Dunne, George Robertson, Franco D’Acunto, Jason Thomson and Patrick O’Growney complete the Introduction to Beekeeping course run by EMBA in May 2013. This beginners course consists of eight weeks information based classes and four practical visits to various apiaries in Edinburgh and West Lothian. This is your first step into keeping bees and is a fantastic intro into the do’s and don’ts of bee keeping in your area.

Please contact for more information.