Welcome to our online exhibition. View artworks we have commissioned, read creative writing from our annual competition, and explore the heritage of the arts and mental health in Scotland.

‘Revolution’ Commissions

‘Revolution’ is the theme for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2023. We have commissioned five artists to create new work to address this theme – and posed a challenge to established ways of thinking.

Jamie Bolland performing electronic music in his Mercurochrome costume including a tin foil headpiece

Untinned Animal

Jamie Bolland was commissioned to develop a processional performance and a series of downloadable pamphlets inspired by our ‘revolution’ theme.
Four women posing on colourful chairs looking into the camera.

we depend on each other

Four immigrant women discuss the mental health challenges they faced after arriving in Scotland in this short documentary by Bircan Birol.
Multimedia montage

The Flood and the Fire

Artists and community educators Keira McLean and Joey Simons have created a revolutionary mixed-media montage and a pedagogical workbook.

Writing Awards

Read creative writing published from the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival’s annual writing competition.

Past Commissions

Gather (2022)

‘Gather’ was the chosen theme for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2022. Bringing people together has always been vital to our work. We use the arts to connect communities, reduce social isolation, and challenge mental health stigma.

Aware still

Bibo & Brian Keeley: Aware

Aware is a short performance-based moving image work by artist duo Bibo & Brian Keeley which explores themes of presence and absence, as well as belonging and exclusion.
Catherine Grosvenor - Wilderness

Catherine Grosvenor: Wilderness

Wilderness is a short film by Catherine Grosvenor exploring her shifting ideas about the countryside and the positive and negative effects it has had on her mental health.
Feather and Fan

Esther Rutter: Gather Mitts

Writer, knitting historian and knitwear designer Esther Rutter has created Gather Mitts, a knitting pattern informed by the relationship between knitting and mental health.

My Normality? (2021)

My Normality is a series of artist commissions developed for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2021.

Eilidh Morris

Eilidh Morris: Vessels

Vessels is a five-minute film created by Dundee-based artist Eilidh Morris in collaboration with musician Johnny Threshold, and filmed in Dundee and Tayport.
Nikki Kilburn

Nikki Kilburn: Our Voices

Nikki Kilburn has created a collection of “five empowered portraits of women of colour with a lived experience of racialised trauma” accompanied by an audio narrative.

My Experience of Isolation (2020)

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival commissioned five artists to create new work on the theme My Experience of Isolation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amble Skuse

Amble Skuse

Composer and violinist Amble Skuse has created an improvised musical piece that explores how isolation can cause a “looped psychological experience”.
Amy Rosa

Amy Rosa

Amy Rosa has created a series of photographic self-portraits and creative writing/spoken text about living with complex post traumatic stress disorder.
James McDermott

James McDermott

James McDermott has written and recorded two performance poems exploring the experiences of being an LGBTQ person during lockdown, a situation that has separated many people from supportive communities and safe spaces.
Rebecca Tantony

Rebecca Tantony

Rebecca Tantony has written a sequence of short poems and stories reflecting on how, as she puts it, “isolation is a narrative in my family history that has spanned generations”.
Reclaiming Our Heritage Project

Reclaiming Our Heritage

Reclaiming Our Heritage is a collection of stories about the arts and mental health landscape in Scotland, between the 1950s to early 2000s.

70 Stories

70 Stories is an online project curated by the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival to mark the 70th anniversary of the Mental Health Foundation.

70 Stories