Press release

Voices of Dundee inspire new artworks

Published on 22 February 2023

Students at the University of Dundee have taken inspiration from stories and memories of people who have lived and worked in and around the city to create a range of original artworks

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Illustration students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design have completed the artworks as part of the Archive Project, where they were presented with recordings selected from the University of Dundee Archives Oral History Collection.  

The collection boasts a rich archive of lived experiences of a broad range of people. Stories, memories and personal anecdotes from a journalist, photographer, politician, midwife and berry picker, to name a few, inspired works in this year's project. 

The artworks by the third-year students will be showcased at an upcoming exhibition for the project, On the Record, when it opens to the public on Friday 24 February 2023.  

Exhibits include an interactive camera game, a sledge, a spinning clock, painted washing machines, and a sewn lab coat and dress. 

Natalie Russell, Illustration lecturer, said, “The archive project is one of the teaching highlights of the year. It offers a great opportunity for collaboration across the University. 

“The Oral History recordings inspire the students to create an imaginative body of work. They really run with this project and utilise the broad range of facilities across DJCAD to generate the work including printmaking, woodwork, ceramics, and digital making. 

“I’m always amazed at the work produced by the students during this project. It really shows how creative they all are and showcases their diverse illustrative skills.” 

Jan Merchant, Senior Archivist at the University, added, “Archives often serve as creative inspiration and this project never fails to give staff a new and fresh perspective on the records we care for.  

“It's always gratifying to see the students so engaged with the archive, spending hours researching a person or topics, then using their research so effectively in their initial ideas and development into their finished pieces. We are always impressed by the range of artworks produced by the students - they create something that's totally new yet manages to retain the link with the original archive.” 

On the Record can be viewed in the University’s Matthew Building, Galleries 1 and 2, from Friday 24 February to Friday 10 March, Mon- Fri, 10am-5pm. Students, staff, families, friends and other visitors are welcome.


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878