Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

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Now in its fifth year, Out of Sight, Out of Mind is a collaborative exhibition of over 100 artworks in various media, created by people who are using the arts to express themselves in relation to their experiences of mental health issues.

Exhibited work is produced by both groups and individual artists with a range of motivations, including personal expression, development of artistic practice, experiencing the therapeutic benefits of working in a group or solo, formal art therapy and political activism.

Some artists make work for the exhibition each year, and some bring their artworks in response to an open call for submissions. Expect to see installations, paintings, films, photography, drawings, sculpture and much more.

Most of the work will be installed within the expansive gallery spaces at Summerhall, as well as other venues around Edinburgh.

At Summerhall

Secret Places

Works reflecting experiences of isolation and marginalisation by young people with a diagnosis of mental ill health. By Positive Steps for Young People.

No Less a Traveller

Work from individual artists will be displayed alongside patchwork wall art created by community members of MECOPP’s Gypsy/Traveller Project.

Art Builds Bridges

Inspired by constructivism, members of the TollX Art Group have worked collaboratively to create a body of art that expresses how important learning and art is to their everyday lives.

Moving Forward

Using individuals’ own experiences, these works by Contact Point Art Group show how art and creativity can have a positive impact on mental health, helping to break the stigma.


PENUMBRA’s Edinburgh Self Harm Project and the Crisis Centre present a show of work exploring the theme of Reclaim, using art to express difficult emotions in positive ways.

Space to Be: Drop-In History Project

Service users, volunteers and staff have created a thought-provoking collage of stories, artworks and photographs that chart and reclaim the history of NHS Lothian’s Spiritual Care Community Mental Health service.

Student Mental Wellbeing Poster Campaign

Posters developed by digital media students at Edinburgh Napier University, highlighting struggles faced by the student population with regard to mental wellbeing.

No Head Clutching Please

Visual representations of mental wellbeing, mental health and recovery, avoiding clichéd depictions like the head clutching image. By Creative Industries students at Edinburgh Napier University.

Stories of Changing Lives 3

Artwork, writing, film, photography and testimonies from people who have experience longer stays at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. By the Patients Council in partnership with CAPS, Outlook, and Chiaroscuro, funded by NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing Team.

Exhibitions across Edinburgh

The Stafford Centre Exhibition

Ranging from painting to craftwork, these artworks were created by members developing their own arts practice at The Creative Group’s open studio.

Persimmon Tree

Bury me amid nature’s beauty and I will reclaim a sense of self. Photography by Denise McNulty will be installed within this patients and community garden.

Creative Reclaim

Stimulating canvas-based artworks in a variety of media by members of The Alma Project, exploring the theme of Reclaim.

Central Library Exhibition

This space will show an exhibition of work selected from the open call for submissions.

Space to Be: Reclaim

Three painted glass door panels, created by service users, volunteers and staff who access NHS Lothian’s Spiritual Care Community Mental Health service.

Break Every Chain: Breaking Chains Through Art

Paintings by Margaret Ramsay, whose art has helped in her healing process, breaking chains in her own life and in others who see her work.

OOSOOM: Uncovered

Each Wednesday afternoon different artists will talk about their work. Spaces are limited, so booking is essential.

To book a place or for further information about the exhibition, call 0131 273 5116 or email