Rockfield unlocks with milestone exhibition

Colourful connections created Unlocked, a major exhibition open now at The Rockfield Centre. Pictured are tutors Val Hamilton and Val Leckie who ran online workshops collaborating with artists during lockdown.

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Oban’s Rockfield Centre unlocks today (July 15) with its first major event since refurbishment.

Unlocked is an exhibition of lockdown legacy work by artists and is open free to the public until July 25.

Val Hamilton and Val Leckie worked together to tutor the project to get them and students who signed up to the project through the long isolation of lockdown. The end result is a series of brightly coloured artworks.

Talent unlocked at The Rockfield Centre in a brightly coloured new exhibition on until July 25.
Unlocked is free to the public to view at The Rockfield Centre

Rockfield’s transition manager Eleanor MacKinnon said the Unlocked exhibition is a milestone to be celebrated.

‘This time last year it was a challenge to keep things going but thanks to additional wellbeing funding and the willingness of staff and tutors to adapt, we were able to move to many of our creative activities online.

‘A year later it is wonderful to see the creativity produced by participants during lockdown being presented as such a wonderful collaborative exhibition,’ she added.

The two Vals described the Unlocked project as ‘an extraordinary experience’.

Val Hamilton said: ‘In over 30 years of art and design teaching, this was a unique experience with truly unique outcomes.

‘Through each task and zoom meeting, everyone’s confidence increased and a strong sense of community was born. The creative challenges provided an outlet for the practical and emotional restrictions we were experiencing. This also provided a structure and a sense of purpose.’

And her co-tutor Val Leckie added: ‘Neither of us had any idea when we started the Colour Connections that we would have such a positive impact on our students, or indeed ourselves.’

The lines and boundaries between tutors and students merged as they encouraged, supported, and became an integral part of each other’s lives.

‘The work we produced towards our collective outcomes is a wonderful testament to our creative response in a pandemic,’ said Val Leckie.

One student who took part in the workshops said the project brightened up the days and was ‘a huge benefit’.

The exhibition is open from 11am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday. Closed
Sunday and Monday.