Artist seeks inspiration from her childhood for her Graduate art exhibition


A GLASWEGIAN artist has taken inspiration from her childhood to create jewellery and metal design for her University’s graduate  showcase .

Hayley Irving, 25, is one of the 300 exhibitors at the Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2020 for the University of Dundee.

The artist grew up in Glasgow’s Possilpark area and looked to take inspiration from growing up in one of Scotland’s most deprived community learning to see beauty in everything even ‘junk’.

Possilpark suffered a loss of local industries during the late 1970s, leading to high unemployment levels and social decline

Possilpark suffered a loss of local industries during the late 1970s, leading to high unemployment levels and social decline. The area is now commonly associated with crime, drug abuse and poverty. Many of the old tenements have been flattened, leaving abandoned wastelands and derelict buildings. 

Hayley said: “I think my love for alternative materials comes from growing up in Possilpark.

“Every day when I walked to school, I passed abandoned buildings, places that were decaying, and graffiti. Possilpark was, and still is, a place filled with poverty. But I can see beauty in objects others may regard as rubbish. I turn unconventional materials into something beautiful. 

“The graffiti, in a strange way, brightened up Possilpark. It was a splash of colour in an otherwise dull area. The bright and colourful jewellery pieces are a nod to that.”

With the use of sublimation printing, Hayley has utilised family photos to express her stories and memories of life in a female-dominated household, showcasing the tough exterior of Possilpark’s residents.

Hayley used alternative materials to create Jewellery inspired by her childhood growing up in Possilpark

She added: “The pieces have as much been inspired by my mum and gran as they have by Possilpark’s dereliction. They always made the best out of a bad situation, like I do with unconventional materials.” 

The Graduate Showcase is an online display taking place in the absence of the University’s annual Degree Show, which has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It is hoped that a physical exhibition of work from this year’s graduating students can be arranged in the future and the Graduate Showcase aims to provide them with the best possible platform for their talents in the meantime. 

It celebrates achievements of graduating students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and the department of Architecture within the School of Social Sciences.

The work on display represents the culmination of years of creative development and hard work, with the website featuring expanded information on all students, including extra images and video content.