sThe Suttie Arts Space

16.03.24 – 12.05.24

This year we are celebrating 10 years of The Suttie Arts Space, which opened with its first exhibition ‘Same Same But Different‘ in November 2014.

For our first exhibition of 2024, we have brought together artwork by Grampian Hospitals Art Trust (GHAT) staff, who are also creative practitioners in their own right. This is a celebration of the artists who organise and deliver various projects across NHS Grampian (NHSG) sites, including Artroom, Art Collection and Projects.


This is an opportunity to promote the artists who are the driving force behind Grampian Hospitals Art Trust and highlight the range of practices within the GHAT team. Due to the nature of some of the team’s jobs, it is not always obvious to people who work with them on a daily basis that they have their distinct practices. The work on display includes writing, sculpture, painting, ceramics, textiles and film.

Phoebe Banks (Projects)

Donna E Briggs (Artroom)

Jean Firth (Art Collection)

Jenny Hood (Artroom)

Jo Gilbert (Artroom)

Elaine Grant (Artroom)

Neal MacDonald (Artroom)

Alexandra McGregor (Projects)

Laura Mullen (Artroom)

Anna Shirron (Artroom)

Sally Thomson (GHAT Director)

Emily Utter (Artroom)

Phoebe Banks

Phoebe Banks is an Aberdeen based artist whose work intersects writing, sculpture and video.  She enjoys playing with functionality and creating works as tools for a specific purpose.  Video is used to activate a sculpture or piece of writing, exploring simplistic ideas to an exaggerated degree.  Ultimately Phoebe’s practice is something that brings her joy by giving space and significance to otherwise fleeting thoughts or conceptsPhoebe works within artists collective Tactics for Togetherness and creative duo CUSP, a collaboration with artist and friend Jess Wilson-Leigh 

Jean Firth

Jean Firth is an artist based in Aberdeen.  Through a process of drawing, collage, and construction through layers of material, Jean plays with the form of the woodlouse – itself made from segmented layers of exoskeleton.  During the process of building and then disguising the forms, Jean aims to explore the nature of the overlooked isopods through her practice. 

Jo Gilbert

Jo Gilbert is a spoken word artist and writer from Aberdeen.  Their work has featured on BBC Radio 4 show Tongue and Talk, in art exhibitions and films and spray-painted on a mural at Aberdeen Beach.  Past projects and commissions include StAnza Poetry Festival, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, National Theatre of Scotland, and Aberdeen Performing Arts.  Jo’s poem ‘Yon Hairy Stick’ was selected as one of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems in 2022.  Their debut poetry collection ‘WTF is normal anyway?’ published in August 2022 with Seahorse Publications was nominated for a Scots Language award in 2023. 

Neal Macdonald

Neal Macdonald takes inspiration from elements of chance, found objects, google algorithms, and aims to elevate the everyday.  Neal Macdonald won the Aberdeen Artists Society Second Prize in 2022 with his oil painting ‘An Artists Impression of a Flemish Aristocrat’s Skull found in a Supermarket Carpark’. 

Laura Mullen

Laura Mullen is a Scottish artist based in Aberdeenshire who graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2014.  Her work draws from themes of memory, storytelling, and a sense of place. Her recent paintings are particularly shaped by nature, seeking to encapsulate the immersive and sensory experience of being in natural surroundings, emphasizing the connection between people and their environment.  Laura’s painting ‘Coming Home’ selected for the exhibition was featured as part of Aberdeen Artists society online show with Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums in 2020.

Sally Thomson

Sally Thomson studied Fine Art at Humberside University, while studying she decided to specialise in feltmaking.  

“As I embarked on my artistic career in the dim and distance past it was to study ceramics. However, after my first year of art school I migrated to fine art with a strong hint of the maker woven into my practice, predominantly involving textiles, feltmaking and pattern.  

The maker in me has never receded and during the pandemic I was given a kiln which encouraged me to return to ceramics after a 35-year break. These works are my experimentations with throwing, glazes, and surface printing.” 


Donna E Briggs

Donna E Briggs studied printmaking at Gray’s School of Art and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Since then, she has exhibited artwork in open exhibitions and solo shows and has completed commissioned work for businesses in Aberdeen City.  Donna won a Purchase Prize in 2008 and was later commissioned by Grampian Hospitals Art Trust to make site-specific work for a reminiscence room in Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Hospital. Her practice is multi-disciplinary and focuses mainly on the embedded emotions and memories in found and rediscovered objects and photographs. 

Jenny Hood

Jenny graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2009 and has since practiced as a freelance artist exhibiting nationally and internationally.  Working primarily in photography and digital collage, her work undertakes explorations of a range of preoccupations, including the construction of the self, both online and off, the tensions in our relationships with the non-human world, seeking often missed details of the every day.  Under her ‘Corvid Eyes‘ remit she has completed site-specific outdoor and indoor collaged ‘paste ups’ across Scotland. 

Elaine Grant

Elaine Grant is a textile artist, designer and maker based in Aberdeen.  Her creative practice engages with concepts of childhood and nostalgia.
Often influenced by her own childhood memories, her experiences as a mother and stories from those around her.  With a focus on her love of colour, pattern and a passion for craft and making, Elaine combines the beautiful naivety and wonder of childhood to create colourful characters, soft sculptures, playful accessories and decorative homewares. Working on one-off designs, limited edition collections and bespoke commissions she aims to bring feelings of joy and endearment to all through her work.

Alexandra McGregor

Alexandra McGregor is a Performance and Visual Artist based in Aberdeen, who graduated from Gray’s School of Art with a BA(Hons) in Contemporary Art Practice.  Performance, print, and drawing are primary processes used to investigate the feminine.  Her work interweaves elements of folkloric and historic material to explore the post, present and future place, and role of women. The narratives in McGregor’s practice take inspiration from past residue, re-examining and reforming feminine rites and traditions that seek to uncover the contemporary female.  

Anna Shirron

Anna Shirron is a Visual Artist working mainly within the fields of paper cutting and painting. In 2007 Anna graduated from Grays School of Art with a degree in Painting and went on to complete a Master of Fine Art in 2010In 2017 GHAT commissioned Anna to work in collaboration with artist Rachel Barron to create a sitespecific installation for The Suttie Arts Space, which took the hospital’s interior as its starting point, exploring architectural elements typically go unnoticed.  

Emily Utter

Emily Utter is a Canadian writer who lives in Aberdeen. Her short stories and creative non-fiction have been widely published in magazines and journals, including Gutter, Northwest Review, Geist, and the best of Canadian flash fiction anthology, This Will Only Take a Minute.  Emily has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen and is the Writer-in-Residence at Aberdeen’s specialist palliative care hospital, Roxburghe House. It is this work that has inspired her novel-in-progress, The Night Room, which was shortlisted for the Discoveries Prize in 2023.


Artroom is a patient-centred project facilitated by professional artists and writers. The ethos of Artroom is that every patient has the potential to be an artist and/or writer in their own right. The project practitioners draw on many years’ worth of developed skill and experience to ensure the art and writing sessions are accessible to all participants, contributing to the improvement of quality of life for patients in the day unit and in-patient ward care. 


Art Collection

The Art Collection artworks have been commissioned or purchased over the past 37 years. The artwork is on rotational display across all 34 NHSG sites. This service is intrinsic to our original focus and fundamental to our relationship with people and places. NHSG Staff are invited to select the artwork for their area, which creates a dialogue around its use and display. This has allowed us to involve NHSG staff in the curatorial process of selecting work for their area, which has had an extremely positive effect in communicating the Art Collection as a valuable cultural asset and offers a behind-the-scenes insight into the work we do.



GHAT works closely with NHSG on new capital build projects and the refurbishment of existing NHSG buildings across the North East of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland. We commission local and national artists to work with staff and project teams to design environments that are both relevant and sympathetic to the context of each area, its users and day to day function. This can range from a very practical form of advising on colour selection or rethinking of wayfinding as a means of identifying a ward or clinic, to developing an arts strategy for an entire hospital. The commissions can include site-specific sculptures, bespoke furniture, or working directly with project architects on screening or cladding solutions required by NHSG safety and privacy policies.

This exhibition has been funded by Creative Scotland.