Room for Art - Great Edinburgh Map Project 2021

The Edinburgh map project was conceived to run over the summer, as we took a 6 week break from our online visual art workshops. It was a way to encourage people to continue to be creative through a very difficult time and to keep us connected with each other. 

We cut a map of Edinburgh into 42 squares and posted them out along with a piece of 30cm x 30 cm canvas for each participant. Each artist has created an artwork on the canvas inspired by their map piece.  The processes, materials used and interpretation of the map pieces were completely up to the individual and the resulting collaborative artwork includes works by our participants, members of staff and project artists. 

The map artworks were made by individuals remotely in their own homes and stitched together later as a giant textile wall hanging. The Great Edinburgh Map Project was exhibited in December 2021 at the Scottish Parliament where Art in Healthcare as part of a showcase celebrating 30 years since the charity was formed in 1991. 

This project has had the benefit of giving our groups across Edinburgh a sense of working together over the summer, while we were still self-isolating. It maintained connections and communication with participants and then acted as a bridge as we transitioned back to in person workshops at the end of August. 

There was a lot of anxiety around starting back in person, with new procedures to consider and this project really gave us a focus. Although our workshops typically centre on the process of making art, experience has shown us over the years that having an outcome, such as a deadline, or making a finished piece for exhibition can really help with people’s confidence, self-esteem and sense of achievement.