I feel like I need to tie up the loose ends from the last post before lockdown. The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival was cancelled at the beginning of lockdown, and with it the three projects I wrote about in February that were being funded by the Joint Health Improvement Team at Scottish Borders Council & NHS Borders.
The 24-hour paint-a-thon has evolved into something new entirely, and definitely deserves its own post soon. Plastic Fantastic is on hold but, like the collection of trampoline frames and agricultural detritus that inspired it, is not going to disappear.
“My Frame of Mind” has also evolved during lockdown. It was initially conceived as an exhibition in Galashiels during the Festival in May 2020 but was cancelled in March. An exploration of ways that changing our perspectives can improve our outlook and mental health, it seemed more important than ever during a global pandemic that has shifted and limited our physical perspectives so much.
I put out a call for digital submissions instead. Losing the physical space has freed it from deadlines and physical limitations – I’ve had a trickle of submissions throughout lockdown but would love more. What has kept your mental health in equilibrium during this pandemic? What lifts your moods? What have you seen in new ways, or how have you changed the way you see the old and (now very) familiar? Frame the positive things in your life that have helped – literally or figuratively – and send them to me.
Submissions are being accepted in an ongoing fashion, with no deadline as yet. I’m still exploring ways to share this online, but the plan is to put together a physical exhibition at some point in the future, probably in Galashiels. There is a PDF of the project brief here to download. If you would like to contribute, please read the brief first, as there are some important guidelines and parametres. Due to funding restrictions, I can only include submissions from residents of the Scottish Borders but if anyone outside the catchment would like to frame their positives and share them with me, I would be more than happy to display them on a separate forum!