Welcome to Collective Creation - a virtual art exhibition hosted by GUM in collaboration with Glasgow University Students Representative Council (SRC) in celebration of International Women's Week 2021.

Despite physical art exhibitions being put on hold, we are creating more than ever as a way to connect with others, empower ourselves, and to uplift our communities. We are thrilled to be featuring 20 talented artists, writers, and creators based in Glasgow and beyond. From life-drawing inspired ceramics that celebrate the human form to paintings that explore the intimacy of friendship, we invite you to delve into this varied and vibrant exhibition.

Adele Cailliau (she/her)

I’m a half French half Turkish student at GSA who mostly lived in Istanbul. I’ve been creating artworks in the form of visual metaphors about gender and other social issues based on my personal experiences as well as contemporary political topics. Very often, I placed my work using female figures not as an object but as a subject in public. By exposing the personal to the public, I confirmed that indeed the private is political.

Exhibiting human fragility has challenged my audience, creating socially engaging works through interventions. This enabled me to observe a country’s social norms and politics through civic behaviour. Unlike in other places, in Istanbul, my works got censured. However, I still make the conscious decision to speak up about the dramatically high rate of femicide in my country, Turkey.

Rebecca Kane (she/her)

I am an English Literature/History of Art student in my fourth year of uni. I would say my creativity empowers me by giving me a sense of freedom and relaxation away from my mental health issues. As someone who suffers from feelings of disassociation and depression, poetry is a way in which I can express myself and explore my sense of self without anxious thoughts tying me down. Overall, poetry is something that brings me confidence and joy. 

Instagram: @r.kpoetry | Twitter: @rkpoetryy

Amber Weir (she/her)

Bloom and Body is my one woman ceramics business whose current collection of work is based on illustrations from life drawing sessions as well as my own body that have then been translated into fully functional vases. My work celebrates the human form, both male and female, and aims to showcase the beautiful curves and lines of our bodies. Each vase is completely handmade by myself so is customisable with a wide variety of glaze options to suit all your vase based needs.

My creativity empowers me as I started this business from nothing, it built me up after all the rejections that come from looking for work in a global pandemic. It also gives me the opportunity to build up others too, with the custom vases for example I’ve been approached by people who’ve had difficult relationships with their bodies wanting to immortalise themselves in clay because their body is beautiful and deserves to be seen as the artwork that it is.

Instagram: @bloom_and_body | Website:

Ailsa Brock (she/her)

I’m a 4th year Interaction Design student at GSA. Painting is something that I do for fun and right now I paint nudes on plant pots because it’s good banter (or something like that).

Instagram: @ailsabrock

Nora Aubry (she/her)

I’m a fourth year Art History/Film & TV student. I occasionally draw, film, take pictures and such, but I don’t consider myself as someone who intentionally makes art, I like to think of it as a bit accidental. I usually like contemplating the process, removing – or rather distancing – myself from it. But recently I’ve been experimenting with self-portraiture. Surprisingly, I enjoy being my own subject matter. It is fun and empowering! I like the agency it provides, playing around with a mediated perception of myself through a lens that captures my own interrogations concerning the depiction of the self and the objectification and materialisation of the body when it comes to artmaking. 

Instagram: @n0raslens

AJ Duncan (she/her)

I’m a Glasgow based illustrator who focuses on digital feminist illustrations. My creativity empowers me by allowing me to bring my ideas to life, particularly my work which plays on the demonized perception of feminists by men, by turning them into real demons. My work allows me to create something aesthetically pleasing while poking fun at the ways in which men and the media demonize feminism.

Instagram: @ajd.illustrates | Etsy:

Magdalena Kosut (she/her)

I’m a Polish artist and student, currently studying Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. My work as an artist is informed and influenced by my experience being a part of of the LGBTQ+ community, coming into my lesbian identity, and my interest in psychology and mental health studies as well as my own personal mental health struggles. My art-making practice is inherently empowering for me, because it allows me to fully express myself, process different experiences and comment on the issues that are important to me; it lets me grow and learn and be myself all throughout. And, probably most importantly, it allows me to connect with, uplift or inspire others – and that is something I’m really grateful for.

Instagram: @mcdlaine

Sam Denyer (she/her)

I’m a 3rd year philosophy student at Glasgow. I think creativity is empowering as it allows you to challenge the way you think on your own terms. You can be yourself.

Instagram: @dinosamrum

Christina Kyriakidou (she/her)

I am a Glasgow-based multidisciplinary artist from Greece, whose practice involves sculpture, painting, performance and digital art media. I studied HND Visual Communication/Illustration in City of Glasgow College and in 2019 I graduated with a BA (Hons) First class in Contemporary Art Practice. With an ever-increasing interest in socially engaged art and its role in social change I am currently doing my Masters in Adult Education, Community Development and Youth Work at the University of Glasgow. I have exhibited my work in the Glasgow GoMA (February 2020), WASPS Studios, The Old Hairdresser’s, Art Number 23 as well as exhibitions organised by the Visual Arts Scotland and the Society of Scottish Artists. In late 2020 I also had my first solo show in Greece. 

I’m inspired by Western Consumerism and wastefulness, among others, and I aim to tackle them with humour and sarcasm. My creativity has helped me through challenging times, including the pandemic, as it is sometimes the only way to keep in touch with myself and reclaim control of my own world. It is also the most effective way to communicate my thoughts and feelings with the outer world, when words are not enough. There is some sort of power in the visual element, one that speech cannot always obtain.

Instagram: @space__shaman | Website: | Facebook: Christina Kyriakidou Art

Constance Pope (she/her)

Empowerment for me comes with the autonomy of being entirely in control of my art. Engaging directly with all customer exchanges, managing finances, and being able to choose which charities I donate to are all elements which fuel my creativity. My favourite rings to make are from my ‘Reclaim Range’ which aim to take back words which are used as pejorative slurs such as ‘cunt’ and ‘slut’. The rings are an elegant addition to a finger, as a cunt is to a woman.

Instagram: @lovecutsilver

Kathleen Crilly (she/her)

I am a 2nd year painting and printmaking student at Glasgow School of Art. I am the first person in my family to go to art school. There was a lot of pressure on me to study law or quantity surveying. I stood my ground because I knew in my heart, I was an artist. ‘How will you make a living?” was constantly asked. I’ve started to earn money by commissions already. Art empowers to be a more confident and honest version of myself.

Instagram: @kathleencrillyart

Imogen James (she/her)

I’m 20, and I’m a 4th year English Lit student. I’ve always loved writing and have been writing all the way through school and Uni, winning a few competitions along the way. My creativity empowers me because I can channel my feelings into something completely my own, something natural to me. I feel proud and strong through the poetry and writing I put out. Nobody can tell me my feelings are wrong or take them from me. I use my platform to encourage creativity and diversity in a way that is accessible.

Instagram: @awritersplace

Matilda Eker (she/her)

I’m a second year English Literature student at the University of Glasgow, and I feel immensely grateful to be making art. During the pandemic it has been a nice way to connect with people, and I’ve started painting some of my friends that I really miss. To me art feels like a way for me to show the people around me who I am on the inside, and that feels very powerful. I recently opened an etsy shop if you’d like to support me on my creative path!

Instagram: @systematiskttvivel | Etsy:

Beth Herbert (she/her)

I am 22 and in my final year at University of Leeds studying Fine Art. Attached is a series of digital paintings which celebrate my friendships with strong, beautiful, talented women! They inspire and push me to be the best version of myself I can be. I am so grateful to them.

Instagram: @aphra_art

Ella Ottersbach-Edwards

I’m one of the editorial artists at GUM and recently started my own online business ‘The Reuben Project’, where I sell my own designs, illustrations and T-Shirts. I love creating  vibrant, fun and dream-like artwork, and often get inspired by the most random and weirdest things! 

Instagram: @thereubenproject @ellaottersbach | Etsy:

Jenna Waldren (she/her)

I’m currently in my fourth and final year at Edinburgh College of Art, studying BA (Hons) Painting.

Glimmers of everyday life. 

Freeze frames of reality. 

Moments often overlooked. 

My art practice attempts to encapsulate these notions, in an attempt to find beauty in the mundane. Through the recording of these moments, an almost autobiography of my immediate surroundings is formed, reflecting the current period in which I find myself in as a 21-year-old woman at university.

Due to the current global situation, the moments captured within my work are mostly centred around the Edinburgh-based flat I currently share with two fellow female art students, who are also my two closest friends. As a consequence, they often appear within my work, caught mid gesture, performing everyday activities.

Alongside the figures, I attempt to include a strong sense of interior. I do so through the use of sharp horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, which divide the composition and create a sense of space. The inclusion of selected objects within the work is also important, as it reflects the “lived in” quality of the space. 

In a visual sense, I am attempting to find a balance between the graphic and the painterly, juxtaposing solid blocks of bold colour against detailed objects. The use of a limited colour palette with subtle variations in tone, allows me to suggest the varying surfaces and planes within these spaces.

Instagram: @jennawaldren

Leah Moodie (she/her)

I’m 21 and I will be graduating from ECA this year. My work is based on the concept of “home” and the feelings of comfort yet anxiety brought with it. Nostalgia and homesickness are both examples of these feelings. I like to question notions of belonging by the distance I create in my work. Distance between humans and animals, figures and objects, subjects and viewer. The atmosphere of a domestic room is also something which fascinates me. Through my work I have been trying to figure out what the tipping point is from being comfortable in a space to uncomfortable. I think of my pieces as being individual and quiet dramas which cross the line into strangeness. My work empowers me because I’m able to paint what I want to paint.  

Instagram: @leah_moodie | Website:

Lady Red Ego (she/her)

My creativity empowers me by making space for me. It lets me fold life into pleats. It lets me wring out excess water.

Lady Red Ego is an asian lesbian who writes about intimacies. She has previously been published in anthologies such as We Were Always Here by Queer Words Project Scotland and Crossing Lines by Broken Sleep Books. Her first pamphlet, The Red Ego, was published by Wild Pressed Books in 2019 and her second pamphlet, Natural Sugars, was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2020.

Instagram: @ladyredego | Poetry pamphlets: (Natural Sugars) | (The Red Ego)

Joanna Twaites (she/her)

I am from Belfast and have been living in Glasgow for the past 3 years. I have recently decided I wanted to further my education so am currently on a portfolio preparation course at GSA and hope to be studying as an undergraduate at GSA in September. My work has really centered around gender identity and gender roles as a female and I am also interested in my Northern Irish culture and the divisiveness that entails especially in Glasgow where a lot of people associate and connect with Northern Ireland.

Instagram: @re_alitycheck

Iris Mellor (she/her)

I am a second year student who is 20. I am enjoying taking photos at the moment. I’m not really sure how my creativity empowers me, but maybe because it makes you look at things for longer and then learn something about them. This photo is called ‘Nina and Ava, Embrace’, taken at Ardrossan Harbour.