Cultural engagement

Celtic Connections on Campus celebrated its fifth year

Hundreds of music lovers kicked off 2020 by celebrating five years of Celtic Connections on Campus. Our annual celebration of the best of emerging student talent on stage and behind the scenes drew its largest audiences yet to enjoy performances from musicians from as far afield as Finland, backed by GCU's Audio Technology students.

We hosted a special viewing of the stunning Oscar Marzaroli Collection to help promote our campaign to preserve the iconic photographer's archive. University Archivist Carole McCallum shared our plans to conserve the collection for future generations with guests at a showcase of the collection at the city’s Street Level Photoworks gallery. Due to unprecedented demand, the exhibition’s original three-month run was extended.

University Archivist Carole McCallum

And the University Archive marked International Women's Day with an exhibition exploring the role of women in campaigns to create a fairer world. Dedicated to the day’s theme, Each for equal: International Women Activists, the Archive showcased material from the UK, Chile, South Africa, Namibia, the US, China and Russia, celebrating the anti-apartheid and trades union movements and the battle to topple Pinochet's dictatorship. And to mark the Day itself Journalism Lecturer Dr Tanya Thompson was honoured by the National Council for the Training of Journalists for her inspirational work with students.

Students sent iconic characters from Jason and the Argonauts on a sightseeing tour of Scotland in an incredible animation paying tribute to their legendary creator, Ray Harryhausen. In what would be the animator’s 100th year, the National Galleries of Scotland invited creative 3D animation students to make an awe-inspiring trailer for Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema, its exhibition celebrating his work. The University’s winning entry used original 3D scans of Jason and the Argonauts’ bronze giant Talos and a skeleton from the film’s celebrated sword-fighting scene.

Researchers helped tell the story of Scotland's rich history of social enterprise and community action in comic book format as part of a £76,300 project backed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Researchers worked with Magic Torch Comics to create two oral history collections that could be shared in schools, online, and at national events.

Our Cultural Fellow and National Poet for Scotland Jackie Kay was joined by Chancellor Annie Lennox at a special Makar to Makar event.

We produced the one-off Makar to Cracker Christmas event alongside the National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Book Festival and The School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford to showcase the cream of established and emerging voices. Among the artists joining the Chancellor and Makar were former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Mercury Music Prize-nominated Kathryn Williams, and youngest winner of the TS Eliot Prize Jen Hadfield.

Students and staff were among 200 designers, including the creators of Bafta-winning Observation, who packed the Sir Alex Ferguson Library to take part in the world's biggest games-creation event. They joined thousands of designers around the world in the annual Global Game Jam.

And the memory of our late colleague Gerda Bartsch was celebrated in our Coffee, Cake and a Concert series. Gerda's husband, John Purchase, played a poignant tribute to Gerda, a former Director of Strategic Projects.

John Purchase