Art highlights refugee plight

Iain's work has been praised for raising awareness of the plight of refugees.
Iain's work has been praised for raising awareness of the plight of refugees.

A Milngavie artists has created hundreds of clay figures to represent the thousands of refugees from Syria and raise awareness of their plight.

The work by Iain McAulay (60), a student at Glasgow Kelvin College, will be displayed at the college’s end of year degree show which is on until June 12.

Iain said: “I am working with Oxfam to try and raise money and awareness for their work with the refugees from Syria and neighbouring countries.

“They are fleeing from terrible circumstances caused by the war and poverty. Many people have been displaced in Syria or they are in one of the refugee camps in neighbouring countries.”

Iain, who has now been awarded a 2:1 degree, has made 400 individual clay figures with each one representing around 10,000 refugees.

He also made two clay heads to highlight the individual human story of their suffering.

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Iain is using his art to draw attention to the terrible humanitarian catastrophe facing almost four million Syrian refugees.

“Their plight does not always get the media attention it deserves and so it is great that Iain is using the power of visual art and sculpture to raise awareness of this crisis and Oxfam’s work.”

Since the conflict started in March 2011, Oxfam has reached more than 1.5 million people affected by the refugee crisis, across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Jamie added: “With the support of people in Scotland we can do even more to help. That is why we are very grateful to Iain for his offer to raise funds for Oxfam during his degree show exhibition. “

The Glasgow Kelvin College art, fashion and jewellery degree shows opened this week at their West End Campus, 75 Hotspur Street.

Iain Abercrombie, head of faculty of creative and digital industries, said: “Staff and students this year have once again demonstrated a very focused and professional approach to the planning and preparation of their degree shows.

“Everyone was looking forward to showing the results of all their creativity, craft and hard work to friends, family and professionals.”