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New UHI Inverness art exhibition celebrating Human Rights day to be projected on campus buildings and live-streamed

By Federica Stefani

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Georgia o'Leary's installation, Bench, uses Humanium Metal to join the structure.
Georgia o'Leary's installation, Bench, uses Humanium Metal to join the structure.

AN art exhibition by Inverness art students will be projected on the buildings of a city college to mark UN Human Rights Day on Thursday.

Students on the NC Art and Design programme at Inverness College UHI have been creating activist art to send a social message about basic human rights, freedoms and expressions for the occasion.

Their works will be projected within An t-Eilean, the open are space built into the Lochan at Inverness Campus, on December 10 between 4pm and 6.30pm.

Courtney Reade (21), an NC Art and Design student from Forres, Moray, hopes her work will encourage people to think more about recycling and reducing their plastic consumption.

She said: “I have enjoyed this project as it has allowed me to put into practice all the skills I have developed on this course and explore new mediums. I hope my work leaves a lasting impression on people, so they think twice about what they throw in the bin.”

On show will be examples of student work created using a Humanium Metal pen, a form of metal made by melting down illegal firearms, as a symbol of peace and non-violence.

Mr To is UK artist ambassador for IM Swedish Development Partner and has been using the pen developed by Swedish A Good Company to create artwork to raise funds for projects supporting survivors of gun violence and violence prevention programmes.

He said: “For the past couple of years, I have been involved with some form of social activism ranging from feminism to the Hong Kong protest. I've always believed that if you have belief that you are passionate about, you have an obligation to yourself and others to support it.

“I'm completely against illegal gun violence and anything that promotes it in today's society. My students share my belief that art should be used to make a difference in this world and they’ve relished the opportunity to send a social message about a cause important to them through this exhibition.”

Georgia o'Leary's Bench project with notes.
Georgia o'Leary's Bench project with notes.

Georgia O’Leary-Collins, an NC Art and Design student from Cromarty, said: “Not only have I learned new skills and techniques, but I have also discovered how to commercialise these skills in an area of interest that is close to my heart. I've particularly enjoyed working on this project because it was a real design brief and in an area that aligned with my values and sentiments."

Talking about her installation, Bench, which will be featured in the exhibition, she explained: “The installation is about connection and partnership. The bench will have words spray painted on to it such as kindness, compassion, peace, and other words relating to the subject. The Humanium Metal will be used to join the structure together, the raw metal will show to remind people of the connection that we all have with each other and ourselves. The stretched s shape is to represent the flow of energy that is around and within us. The intent of this design is to generate awareness of the relationships that we have with everyone and the space around us, that being the air we breathe or the person we sit next to.”

The exhibition will be virtually introduced by Inverness MP Drew Hendry and will be live-streamed on Inverness College UHI YouTube page at 4pm on the day.

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