Our Exhibition

We created an exhibition as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2023 around the theme of 'revolution'


Mixed media collage

Patient Diagnosis: 

6A02.0 - Autism spectrum disorder



At the core of this artwork lies a poignant message: Social class stands as the paramount determinant of health and wellbeing outcomes. To deny this is to ignore the dismantling of industrial towns and cities with their legacy of disabling physical and mental health issues passed down through generations of downtrodden and struggling individuals. At the foot of the page are the number of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles that this factor violates by being present in our society.


Living in poverty has been found to generate distinct mental health problems known as ‘austerity ailments’. A recent demonstration of this is that during the Covid-19 lockdown the mental health of children from privileged backgrounds plummeted to levels typically observed in those living in relative poverty. Highlighting the profound impact of restrictions, lack of opportunity and daily oppression on the wellbeing of these young minds, who then grow into who adults continue to carrying these heavy burdens even if their financial circumstances improve.


The narrative of 'work sets you free' juxtaposes with the harsh reality of those in positions of political power selling off health and welfare services to their donors and associates. Support services remain scarce under the boot of austerity, while resources flow generously into the ventures of the already affluent. Those unable to participate in the class system (for example, 77% of autistic adults are not currently able to be in paid employment) are the least able to create change within society or control the trajectory of their own health and life circumstances.


The artwork also weaves in the pressing issue of environmental degradation and its impact on human lives. The ruthless exploitation of our planet's resources to satisfy the insatiable hunger of capitalist materialism not only wreaks havoc on our climate but also forces people to flee their homelands. Climate refugees converge with those fleeing war-torn regions at borderlines, with access to asylum a privilege granted only to those deemed 'worthy'. Others face scapegoating and demonisation by point scoring politicians and their media machines.


The artist urges us to confront the toxic realities of wealth disparities, the abuses of power granted by resources and the far-reaching consequences of this. Recognising that health and wellbeing are not accessible in a society built on inequality.

Please note: The diagnosis used does not necessarily reflect a psychiatric diagnosis received by the artist. These were included to reflect the current practice of labelling and how these relate to lived-experience.


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