WASPS Inverness -7

Hayward John, from Inverness: ‘I have been working in half of my garage until now – this is just brilliant. It makes an amazing difference to have a studio like this. It’s great for artists and great for Inverness.’

WASPS Inverness -9

Evija Laivina: ‘I have actually studied in the Midmills buildings. It was an amazing place and they were some of the happiest days of my life. Rescuing the building and turning it into studios like this is a wonderful thing for Inverness.

‘I make a lot of props for my work and it is very challenging to do this without proper studio space. I am also really looking forward to being in an environment with other artists – it’s inspirational and it opens up all sorts of collaborative possibilities.’

WASPS Inverness -20

Catherine Carr, who knits and crochets glass, who moved to Inverness from England especially for the studio space: ‘Finding studio space has always been a nightmare. So when I heard about the old academy buildings in Inverness I was really excited. I had visited artists in Wasps studios before and knew they were good.

‘We have bought a house just a couple of hundred yards away, it’s perfect. I am really looking forward to being among a group of artists again. Working alone in your own studio can be isolating.’

WASPS Louis Buick-4

Louis Buick, multi-media artist from Inverness: “I was working out of a makeshift office in my home, which was literally just a cupboard, but it was very small and wasn’t ideal for taking folk to.

“I work in a lot of disciplines from fashion to photography. Meeting people to take photos has been a problem so I am going to dedicate one area to that and basically expand what I have been doing.

“For me when I left school I was a DJ and made music and back then it wasn’t commonplace then that you would have a career in the creative industries, whereas in places like Glasgow and Edinburgh that was a possibility. I hope with this being open it will give more people hope that they can perfect their craft in the Highlands without having to leave.

“In terms of the arts and things, Inverness is behind the bigger cities so hopefully this will kind of propel that.”

The former Millburn Academy pupil added: “When you are working from home it’s hard to get that divide, especially having a new baby, it’s pretty much impossible to get a few hours to work on artistic stuff.

“It gives me space where I can bring other creatives in to which is important to me in collaboration. The dedicated space allows me to come in, switch off from the outside world and get things done.”

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