The Hive is an activity centre and coffee bar for in-patients of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital with a full timetable of activities and events. To find out more about some of the artworks members of The Hive have created for this year’s Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Fesitval (SMHAFF) we spoke to Abi Kilbride, one of three activity workers responsible for keeping The Hive going.

Abi’s responsibilities include running groups on mindfulness, knitting, addiction support, music and of course artwork. Her activities help get people engaged and socialising, providing both a creative outlet and a place to interact with others. Members have created a series of artworks for SMHAFF, inspired by the theme of the exhibition this year – passion. Scroll down past the slideshow to read more about the artists and their works:

Work one is named “Angel in Disguise”. This was created in an open art session – the perfect environment to freely create and have positive experiences. The artist has had difficulty with a short attention span, which can make the completing an artwork somewhat challenging. Finishing “Angel in Disguise” was therefore a real accomplishment, and gave her a great sense of achievement. Even without knowledge of these difficulties the piece itself is impressive, conveying emotional complexity through a visually pleasing array of colours.

The second and third works are collages, both completed by the same artist. He likes to work with what he is enthused by and passionate about, which makes his creations ideal for SMHAFF’s theme. Working with printed images is particularly interesting to him, as is creating mixed media pieces. The main subject matter of “Bobby” is clear to any resident of Edinburgh, but the work also features a more subtle nod to another “passion” - green to symbolise his love of the football team Celtic. “Through the Year” uses images of nature to represent different seasons, speaking to a love many will be able to identify with - the changing rhythms of the natural world.

The cartoon inspired painting “Little Birdy” meanwhile, plays on the love hate relationship between Sylvester and Tweety Pie - a less conventional type of passion perhaps! Betty Boop’s infamous red dress also pops up in the work “Betty Bird”. These pieces are created by an artist who makes full use of The Hive’s facilities. As well as creating works inspired by classic cartoons he also likes enjoys sculpture, regularly creating beautiful clay pieces.

The last work featured “City in Mist” is by an artist who prefers to work with stencils – another piece which illustrates the breadth of work created at The Hive. Her inspiration comes from modern urban environments and the city, yet another creative interpretation of the theme “passion”. Whilst the form and content of her work provide an updated twist on traditions of landscape painting and the passion inspired by the sublime, the skyline stencil itself is softened by the colour choice and delicate application of paint, provoking memories of more classical landscapes even as it subverts them.

The Hive have provided Space Artworks with a fantastic and fascinating collection of works for this years SMHAFF exhibition "Life With Art...". The works featured in this article will be shown in our gallery from the 10th to 31st of October. Space Artworks will also have works featured in Summerhall’s exhibition for the festival. For more information please see here 

To read more about Space Artworks and SMHAFF see our What's On page.