Stirling Street Stories: Meet the Artist – Lou Carberry

Lou Carberry is a Contemporary Arts student who works with a wide range of mediums ranging from installations to digital art.


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Lou Carberry

Credit: Focas Media



The 21-year-old has been studying at Forth Valley College for the past three years and much of her work is focused on day-to-day issues such as mental health, politics and culture. Lou, who lives in Menstrie, uses her personal experiences to create works which evoke strong emotional responses from her audience and help spread awareness of issues close to her heart.

She says: “My goal as an artist is to create a feeling of unity when people view my work. I want the viewers to feel safe in expressing their emotional responses.”

Lou grew up with a flair for art and creativity and found the subject an escape and a therapeutic outlet during her high school years when she struggled with mental health issues. She studied Higher Art at Lornshill Academy in Alloa before beginning her Forth Valley course where she developed skills in drawing, casting, mould-making and creating installation art.

This year Lou is continuing her studies at the College on the BA Diploma in Art and Design course, which is accredited by the University of Stirling, as well as growing her own studio practice. Once she completes her degree, she hopes to work in youth services using her creative knowledge to help others.

She is already involved in LGBT Youth Scotland where she draws on her artistic skills to teach troubled children about the power of expression. Lou’s artwork is very much inspired by her own mental health struggles and aims to spread awareness and positivity through messages such as ‘It\’s okay not to be okay’; ‘You are not alone’ and ‘Stay Strong’.

 She says: “I’m dyslexic and have dyspraxia – a development disorder which is on the spectrum for autism. I have also been dealing with depression and anxiety for most of my life and suffer from PTSD. Art has always helped me when I’ve found things difficult and I find it a release and a way to express my feelings. It also helped me to heal.”

Lou created her `Reaching Out’ series of drawings, which have been picked for the Street Stories project, as an illustration of her battle with mental illness. The drawings, created with black fine-tipped pens, feature a hand reaching out before, in the final image, being grasped and pulled upwards by another helping hand.

She says: “This final image depicts how strongly I was supported by NHS mental health services who led me through one of the darkest times in my life, helped me gain my PTSD diagnosis and begin to heal. I submitted the Reaching Out series for the project because I felt they were relevant to the troubling year we have all been through and they represent a big thank you to the NHS who have helped all of us.”

Lou was delighted to be selected for Street Stories where her artwork is set to be shown on the windows of the former Trophy Centre in Upper Craigs. She says: “I was quite nervous about entering because it’s so early in my career and I’m really just starting out. I thought I had no chance so it was a real boost when I found out I had been chosen and the staff at Forth Valley, who are amazing, were really pleased for me.”

“It’s great to be involved and to be able to give a public thank you to the Stirling NHS mental health services which saved my life and to also show those viewing my work that they are not alone.”

 More details about Lou and her artwork can be found on her website at www.loucarberryart.com and on Instagram – www.instagram.com/lou_carberry_art  

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