Edinburgh Napier supports Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival
A group of Edinburgh Napier students have helped shine a spotlight on mental health issues with a series of creative installations across the city centre.
As part of the Out of Sight, Out of Mind exhibition at the city’s Summerhall, which in turn is part of the wider Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, a group of Masters’ in Design students have designed a range of works that were unveiled within the city centre on Saturday night (21 October).
Tasked with raising awareness of the exhibition and its topics of mental health, the group of students devised three pieces of public art that highlighted the Out of Sight, Out of Mind programme to passers-by for one night only.
An illuminated projection cube was installed within Bristo Square. Designed and built by the students at Merchiston campus, the cube – entitled Hidden Reflection - consisted of a wooden structure and incorporated mirrors and fabric to project a number of images from the exhibition currently on display at Summerhall.
A fully immersive experience, the cube allowed passers-by to walk completely within it and experience art in a different way than it being simply hung on a wall. Students involved are Chloe Martina Salvi, Antonios Tsaousis, Lisa Lanza and Koralia Maciej.
A series of poetry umbrellas were also dotted around Edinburgh. Designed and created by students, the work drew on the imagery of the umbrella in the work of artists Francis Bacon and Rene Magritte, with passers-by having to step under an umbrella in order to hear poetry by Graham Brodie and Nick E Melville being played. The poetry aims to celebrate life while addressing issues of love, addiction, depression and mental wellbeing.
A number of city centre bus stops have also been transformed, with a series of bubbles stencilled onto the ground near the stops in a hopscotch pattern. The bubbles represent bubble wrap, with walkers-by being encouraged to hop onto the chalk outlines in order to ‘pop’ the bubbles to relieve stress. A bubble-wrap installation is also part of the Summerhall exhibition. Students involved are Jenna Endres, Natasha Frank, Beatriz Messias and Brie Kimble.
Now in its fifth year, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, is an exhibition of artworks created in relation to people’s experiences of mental health issues. It aims to discuss, celebrate, reveal and highlight all aspects of mental health.
Students from Edinburgh Napier’s Photography and Creative Computing courses are also exhibiting artwork as part of the Summerhall exhibition. The series of work includes a range of student mental wellbeing posters as well as visual representations of mental wellbeing that avoid regularly used cliché depictions such as head clutching.
Kirstie Jamieson, head of Edinburgh Napier’s Design Masters programme and public engagement lead for its School of Arts and Creative Industries, said: “Through creative approaches to marketing, installation, lighting and curating, students from the Design Masters programme have tested the social role of design. Out of Sight, Out of Mind provides an important opportunity for staff and students to extend the debates around mental health in Scotland. It has been a rewarding learning experience, one that I hope we can continue to offer our future students.”
The Out of Sight, Out of Mind exhibition runs within Summerhall until 29 October. It is open from 11am to 6pm but is closed every Monday.
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