The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival presents a collaborative exhibition of artworks by individual artists and groups engaged in the arts and mental health from across Scotland. The exhibition will be available to view throughout the festival and more work will be added. It features a diverse collection of visual artworks, poetry, photography and video.
Enjoy the exhibition and you can explore the full SMHAF 2021 programme here. When you have finished viewing, please complete our short evaluation form. The evaluation will help us to improve the festival in future and better understand our audiences.
Click on the images below to view all the artworks by each artist or group.
Whose Hands Are These, Verse 4
This is the fourth verse of the concrete poem ‘Whose Hands Are These?’ I wrote this poem after taking part in the Haud Close project run by Scottish Ballet for people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease or dementia. Details of the project and the resultant film can be found on Scottish Ballet’s website https://www.scottishballet.co.uk/join-in/sb-health/haud-close.
Concrete poems combine words so that they form visual images. For this piece I knew I wanted to combine a poem about hands with the outline of my hand. To write my poem I drew inspiration from Michael Rosen’s ‘These are the Hands’, a tribute to the NHS. I began by writing a golden shovel, a type of poem in which each line ends with a word from the original poem. Then I used the vector graphics software Inkscape to place the words of the poem on an outline of my hand. I added embellishments to my hand because not all the words would fit onto the hand outline. I followed this scheme for the first three verses. For the final verse I used the words to fill in the shape of my hand outline. I used red ink to help highlight the words of Michael Rosen’s poem within my own.
The text of the fourth verse of my poem reads:
I’ve asked before and
I ask once more, whose hands are these?
I don’t know whose they are or why they are so rough. The
hands I remember were much smooth er hands.
They were the hands that
brushed my hair one hundred strokes, didn’t stop
till it shone. The hands I remember are the
hands that could mend leaks
in an inner tube, clear up empty
beer cans after a party. The hands I remember are the
hands that would mix up a quick batter, pour some onto a pan,
make breakfast for the sad hangers on, wipe
up the beer spills, wash the dishes, plunge the sink, unblock the pipes.
The hands I remember picked bagloads of brambles to carry
on home. They brought down the jeely pan, added the
sugar, watched jam boil till it was ready to can.
The hands I remember would clamp
a vice to the kitchen table, set a plank of wood in the vice, tighten the
clamp, sand the wood till the veins
showed clear and clean on the surface, make
sure the surface was smooth to the
touch. The hands I remember cast
shadows, a rabbit, a dove in flight, a graceful swan, then threw another log
on the fire. The hands I remember are the
hands that let your tiny fist curl round just one finger. Measured each dose
of childhood remedy and
offered it to you with a tender touch.
Your hands hold steady, reach out, join us
together. These hands are mine, I see that now, at last
Agnieszka Narloch: We Will Celebrate Each of the Scars
AIMS Advocacy: Sounding Something Out
All, Entire, Whole
The Alma Project: New Light
Angus Creative Minds: Reconnected | Normality?
At Birkhill House: My Frame of Mind
Bazooka Arts: Routes Back to Normality
CL Gamble: Between the Lines
Contact Point, Edinburgh
Conversations For Change
The Easy Club
Erin Colquhoun: Let's Create
Fool On: Stories of Recovery
Healing the Loss
Inclusive Images: Changing Focus and Lockdown Through the Lens
Jamie King: Not Normal: An Expression of the Self
Leverndale Hospital: Collective Creativity
Lindsay Oliver: Lost and Found: Illustrated Poems of Freedom and Renewal
Lynn Fraser: Rewilding Me
NAWRC: Turning the Tide
Paul Henry: Affective Paintings
Project Ability: The Nature of Ideas
Rachel Louise Burney: Normality?
Work Connect, Levengrove: Picture Normality
We Will Celebrate Each of the Scars
I Think I Could Switch Them Out for Passport Photos - Nana
I Think I Could Switch Them Out for Passport Photos - Me
I Think I Could Switch Them Out for Passport Photos - Great Great Great Grandma
I Think I Could Switch Them Out for Passport Photos - Great Grandma
I Think I Could Switch Them Out for Passport Photos - Grandma
I Think I Could Switch Them Out for Passport Photos - Dad