Beneath the Mask

1 March 2022 - 30 June 2022 / Royal Edinburgh Building Gallery, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Pl, Edinburgh EH10 5HF

“Beneath the Mask” was an arts-based project run with mental health nurses. It is outcome of an ongoing research collaboration between a Napier University mental health nurse, lecturer and socially engaged artist, Jessica Howarth, who facilitated a series of online workshops with mental health nurses from across the country. The nurses each embroidered a mask, exploring their experiences and understandings of emotional work in the field of mental health nursing.

Each of the participants has embroidered three mask elements: the outer (public facing) layer, the filter layer, and the inner (private layer), representing nurses’ emotional work and presentation of self. The exhibition features eighteen handmade textile mask components accompanied by documentation of the project and research.