200 Voices at Scotland’s biggest mental health art exhibition 10 Years of Out of Sight Out of Mind at Summerhall

Out of Sight Out of Mind (OOSOOM) celebrates the 10th anniversary of Scotland’s biggest mental health art exhibition.

Launching on the evening of 11 October, the exhibition will be open at Summerhall from 12 to 30 October, Wednesdays to Sundays, to show the artworks made by over 200 people, including films, paintings, sculptures, photography, installations and more.

The exhibition is organised by people who have lived experience of mental health issues and facilitated by SIAA members CAPS Independent Advocacy as one of their Collective Advocacy projects.

Since 2013, the exhibition has championed the voices of people with experience of mental health issues by showing their artworks in Edinburgh’s acclaimed Summerhall Galleries. Over the ten-year period it has platformed the voices of over 1000 people and had nearly 10,000 visitors to Summerhall.

As part of the celebrations a short film will be launched, which will share the exhibition’s rich and evolving story, its activist roots and unique ethos. It will speak of the community that has formed around it, what it means to the people who take part, and the passion and investment by those who drive the work forward.  A whole room in the galleries will be dedicated to materials from the OOSOOM archives.

There has been double the number of people than last year wanting to take part, proving its success and the continued need for people’s voices to be heard.

The exhibition was born from the idea that in the very recent past, and even now, people who experience mental health issues were kept ‘out of sight, out of mind’. The first exhibition organisers were a group of people who wanted to be seen and heard using art. Today, we see this ethos driven forward by the OOSOOM community. Now, in 2022, the exhibition has a firm place in Edinburgh’s cultural calendar with funding secured until 2028, and an abiding relationship with Summerhall.

There is a still strong element of defiance in Out of Sight Out of Mind, not least because it can take a lot to act when self-assurance is lacking. Over time, the exhibition has found a more comfortable place within itself; it still stands firmly proud, holding up high whatever is expressed, be it anger or joy, and anything else.

For more information, please visit Out of Sight Out of Mind’s website.

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