Caring Duets Website

Ross MacKay: Caring Duets

Community Commissions is a series of projects funded by the Baring Foundation, in which three artists are working with communities across Scotland to explore mental health issues. The projects were showcased during SMHAF 2022.

Ross MacKay is a Fife-based writer and theatre-maker who has worked as a director, puppeteer and magician, as well as co-founder and artistic director of theatre company Tortoise in a Nutshell.

From October 2021 to June 2022 Ross worked with couples who are also registered carers, for each other or for their children, to create a series of collaborative mixed media pieces exploring and documenting their experiences. The work on display here was created in collaboration with one of the couples.

Caring Duets is one of three SMHAF Community Commissions supported by the Baring Foundation.


Image Gallery


Together, we built something
by Ian, Gwen and Ross

The world changed and we changed. Still changing,

I am
Remembering how you collapsed my love
Ambulance, wire tube, can you hear me?
Bed, home, caring, living helping, oxygen

B r e a t h e – we’re still here.

Interlaced fingers and wires, like Virginia clumbers
Trace along the walls of our living room,
Making a new history out of appointments and moments just to

Then the invite, It was like a golden ticket
Join a group

We were all strangers at the start
We shared biscuits, cake, clay, paint, scribbles on a page.
Things become Easy after that.
It’s a funny thing
But changes became easy.

I suppose that’s why we fit together.
Over time life just moulds
Thumbs in a potter’s bowl
Imprinted into each other

Giggles returned

In our garden,
We bought a flamingo
Our flight of fancy.
Ready to fly us away

Plenty new dreams, digging in deep,
Growing – blooming
Seeds sprinkling through our world – our journey

we’re still here

I don’t know
by Iain

I don’t know what I am doing here.
Why are you looking at me?
I still don’t know what I am doing here.
Is it what I see?
People say one thing and mean another.
Why? I don’t know.
I have problems with words.
It could be my eyesight.
I don’t know.