The grass is always greener...

Susan Mains (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Mains, S. P. "The grass is always greener…" submitted by invitation to the Tales of the Unexpected exhibition, Lamb Gallery, University of Dundee (August-October 2022).

“The grass is always greener…” is inspired by the life of John James Dalyell (1832-1897), who was born in France, and grew up in the Carnoustie area of Scotland. Coming from a family historically involved in the navy, politics and finance, John is an intriguing figure: a complex character emerges from letters to friends from his travels in France as a young adult, and involvement in a range of financial and sporting organisations in North East Scotland. John experienced what may have been a possible head trauma and significant mental stress, resulting in his eventual hospitalisation (from 1873 until his death in 1897) at The Montrose Lunatic Asylum and Dispensary (later known as Sunnyside Royal Hospital). The medical notes recording John's health tell a story of a patient on a long and troubled journey, and who sought respite in the institution's extensive gardens. A photograph showing the hospital’s interior provided a catalyst for highlighting the tension between the closed off spaces of the patient and the desire to be outside. What may seem a desirable life at first glance, may also come hand-in-hand with unforeseen—and unresolvable —stories.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOther
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022
EventTales of the Unexpected - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Aug 202229 Oct 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'The grass is always greener...'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this