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Cromarty art student's work to feature in Inverness UHI exhibit on Human Rights day

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.

A CROMARTY art student will see her new installation featured in an Inverness college exhibition to celebrate UN Human Rights Day on Thursday.

NC Art and Design student at Inverness College UHI, Georgia O’Leary-Collins, will participate to the event with her installation Bench.

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 display, which will be projected at the Inverness Campus, will see artwork by 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.

It will also showcase artwork from students made by using Humanium Metal, which is made by IM Swedish Development Partner by melting down illegal firearms, as a symbol of peace and non-violence.

On this aspect of her installation, Ms O’Leary-Collins said: "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.

“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."

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

Inverness College UHI art lecturer Frank To, who is the UK artist ambassador for IM Swedish Development Partner, has created artwork with the Humanium Metal pen developed by Swedish A Good Company to raise funds for victims of gun violence and and violence prevention programmes.

Mr To 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.”

The exhibition 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, and will be live-streamed on Inverness College UHI YouTube page at 4pm with a virtual introduction by Inverness MP Drew Hendry.

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