Monday 4 June 2012
New Start and ACE Group students at the college’s Falkirk Campus have no hesitation in curling up with a good book at their art and design classes as it is helping to recycle old books, create innovative and interesting art and raise cash and awareness for Oxfam.
Now, inspired by Creative Industries Department lecturers Angela McLaren and Ewan John - as well as the Linlithgow Oxfam shop - an assembly line of creativity has sprung up at the college.
Any books can be used, from aged novels from the 50s and 60s whose pages have started to turn a yellow colour, to children’s books and old encyclopaedias. Remarkably none of the pages are cut of removed in this process and the striking designs are made by continuous folding techniques.
Lecturer Ewan John, said: “Looking on-line, professional artists can sell these sorts of book sculptures for £30 or £40, but our students are delighted to be producing great pieces for Oxfam to sell them in their shops for about £3.99.
“The students all really enjoy creating these sculptures and it’s a win, win scenario as there is an element of recycling, creativity, charity and community citizenship involved in the project.
“Corinna the manager of the Oxfam shop in Linlithgow is delighted with the sculptures and says they are proving very popular with customers. An American tourist even bought two, so they are going worldwide!
“The Oxfam Regional Manager has even commissioned some to be used in the charity’s ‘Book Fest’ in July, so no doubt our students will continue to produce these for a while yet.”
Stephanie Singh (36) from Grangemouth, said: “I love producing these book sculptures. I actually take them home to finish them as they only take a couple of hours to complete and are really therapeutic. I’ve now completed about eight in all. I am very proud of my work.”
Stuart McGregor (17) from Grangemouth, said: “I really enjoy this as it’s really creative. I had never heard of this type of art before, but I enjoy just going into class and doing it!”
Jacqueline Robb (18) from Bo’ness, said: “It is actually very relaxing and it means a lot to me that we are creating art and raising money for such a good cause as Oxfam at the same time. This is really a very inspirational class for me, in fact everyone really enjoys what we do with Ewan.”
Corinna McGaw, Manager of Oxfam Linlithgow, said: “On behalf of Oxfam I would like to thank Ewan’s class for their fantastic book sculptures. What patience and skill they all have. I am so proud to have them in my shop and my staff and my customers are fascinated and enthralled by them. They have also helped Oxfam raise money to help people in poverty and suffering.
“My Area Manager is distributing them to other Oxfam shops in the area ready for the ‘Book Fest’ in July. They will certainly make any book window display that much more exciting and innovative. So, when passing some Oxfam shops, pop in and you might see Forth Valley College students’ work proudly displayed in the book window or near the book department!”