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.
The new July to September programme is out! Read it here:
The new April to June programme is out! Read it here:
Over the past year Artlink has been working towards this programme of
exhibitions, workshops and events which explores in some detail different aspects
of older age. We want to share the stories of love, life and family we came across
in our research.
We aren’t looking at this through rose-tinted spectacles; we know about the
problems that exist and the hardship that is experienced. What we want to show is
just how remarkable and resilient people are, how enthusiastic they are to join in,
work together and share their experiences.
Each participating hospital has its own ‘theme’ and all events match the interests of
the amazing people we have met and worked with over the years.
Although the exhibitions and events are aimed at older audiences and for those
who care for older people, we have designed this programme to have an open
appeal. You will be introduced to artists and writers who have an interesting
perspective on older age, as well as to local people and organisations who do
amazing work giving advice, support and providing recreational activities.
To make sure that everyone has the opportunity to join in, we have placed some of
these events are on closed wards and some in public spaces. All events are free.
If you want to take part, check what’s on on your ward, or find out more, get in
touch with us at Artlink.
The Pelican Gallery at the RIE, 11 November 2016 – 13 January 2017
The vision of Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation is of healthier, longer lives for the people of Lothian. It invests in the promotion of better health and wellbeing across Edinburgh and the Lothians, making a difference to people’s lives on a local, regional and national level.
Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation holds an extensive collection of some 2,700 artworks. In December 2015 ELHF appointed the Royal Scottish Academy to deliver a comprehensive artwork collection management strategy. This will focus on gathering information and creating a complete catalogue of works in the collection, providing the foundations for interpretation of the collection and the re-hang of work across NHS Lothian sites.
As part of this approach, the collection will be opened out for engagement with the hospital communities, inviting feedback on artworks and where work could be displayed in the future. This exhibition acts as a starting point to this process, presenting a small body of work of the most recent artworks gifted to the ELHF Collection from the RSA.
If you would like to find out more information about the Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation Collection please contact Arts Manager Susan Grant via the website:
2 November 2016 – 13 January 2017
A new exhibition at St John’s Gallery bringing together individuals from the hospital and local community who share an interest in bird watching.
The theme of the exhibition was inspired by John Gordon, a regular participant at Artlink activities in West Lothian. ‘Look to the skies’ is a title originally penned by John, inspired from a body of work created around his interest in bird watching. His passion goes as far back to his childhood when he would go on bird spotting trips with his father.
Since 2014 John and Artlink West Lothian have been exploring this interest, getting out and about bird watching and focusing his artwork into more practical bird watching uses such as local Avian maps, personalised bird logs, drawings and posters displayed here as part of this exhibition.
This exhibition brings together birding enthusiasts and photographers from across West Lothian and further afield. They share in the same passion as John, observing and photographing the many different species and habitats of bird wildlife in our local countryside.