Inverness College UHI Art Exhibition Celebrates UN Human Rights Day

Art and design students at Inverness College UHI will celebrate UN Human Rights Day on 10th December by holding an open-air exhibition of their work at Inverness Campus.

Students on the NC Art and Design programme have been creating activist art, which sends a social message about basic human rights, freedoms and expressions.

The work will be projected within An t-Eilean, the open are space built into the lochan at Inverness Campus, on 10th December between 4pm and 6.30pm, weather permitting.

It will also be live streamed on the Inverness College UHI YouTube page at 4pm.

The exhibition, which has been virtually introduced by Inverness MP Drew Hendry, will also feature 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.

Inverness College UHI art lecturer Frank To is a UK artist ambassador for IM Swedish Development Partner, which makes Humanium Metal, and has been using the pen to create artwork to raise funds for projects supporting survivors of gun violence and violence prevention programmes, and to promote a humanitarian message.

Internationally renowned artist To, who became the first Scottish artist to have sold-out exhibitions in all five UK royal academies last year, explained:

“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-Collins (pictures are of work by Georgia), 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.”

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.”

Earlier this year, To, who is known for his artwork with gunpowder and copper, completed an artist residency at Edinburgh Castle, creating a piece commemorating the One O’clock Gun which now takes pride of place in its Regimental Museums.