HIGHLAND CREATIVES is a dynamic art exhibition at Inverness Airport, celebrating artists who have built their creative careers in the Highlands. Their journeys have been inspired, nurtured and supported by studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and working from a Wasps studio. Currently exhibiting are Yelena Visemirska, Evija Laivina, and Louise Innes.

CREATIVE LEARNING. CREATIVE WORKING.

University of the Highlands and Islands is proud to be a different type of university. Across the Highlands and Islands region, its centres of excellence and world-class thinking are pushing the boundaries of academic and applied knowledge.

The University’s creative industries portfolio is wide ranging and includes courses in music, art, film making, fashion and textiles, creative writing, drama and production, musical theatre, visual communication and design, and more. If you’re interested in getting your creative career off the ground, visit the online prospectus.

Inverness Creative Academy is Wasps’ new home for art and creativity in the Highlands, opening to the public in 2021. We have studio and flexible co-working space available for artists, makers, designers, creative freelancers and larger cultural organisations. Working in an inspiring, supported space alongside fellow creators could really make a positive difference to your professional journey, and to your practice.

As Scotland’s national provider of artists’ studios, Wasps also provides creative spaces in Nairn, Orkney, Shetland, Skye, Perth, Aberdeen, Dundee, Newburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Irvine, Selkirk, and Kircudbright. Visit the Wasp website for more information and availability.

CURRENT EXHIBITING ARTISTS

Yelena Visemirska was born in Latvia in 1984, and moved to Inverness in 2009. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Inverness College UHI in 2014. Yelena has been a tenant at Inverness Creative Academy since its studios opened in 2018.

Yelena’s work considers the relationship between natural and man-made landscapes, and the way in which memories of wild spaces emerge when our bodies are placed within urban environments. 

“My time at the University of the Highlands and Islands created an invaluable foundation for me as a creative professional, and has had a tremendous impact on my career. Artists learn and feed off their peers in organised critiques at art school, and often this act of bouncing off one other becomes a necessary part of the creative process.

“Renting a studio at Inverness Creative Academy is the perfect way to continue this collaborative dynamic. Working in a dedicated art studio space, alongside other professional artists, is exactly what I needed.”

You can buy Yelena’s work on Big Cartel. Be sure to visit her website, Instagram and Facebook too. 

Yelena Visemirska

Evija Laivina was born in Latvia in 1978, and moved to the Highlands in 2009. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice from Inverness College UHI in 2019. Evija moved in to her studio at Inverness Creative Academy in 2019.

Exhibited Work: ‘The Hoarder’ photographic series, 2020

The Hoarder explores the phenomena of toilet paper hoarding during the first global pandemic lockdown.

The primitive instincts of humans kick in to protect themselves from unexpected events, and hoarding can provide the feeling of safety and security for some.

The photographic series is accompanied by a short film.

Evija works across multiple disciplines, including portrait and conceptual photography. The female body, aesthetic surgery and the virtual world’s obsession with perfection informs much of her work.

“I have never lived in a big city before, so working in the Highlands feels very normal to me. It is a slower pace of life, but we artists are the ones who need to create the fun and make exciting things happen! The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that we need to be happy in the space we’re in – and being connected, both digitally and professionally, really helps with that.

“I absolutely loved my course at the University of the Highlands and Islands. It was a big decision for me to apply, as I’d just had a baby and my English wasn’t great. But I’m so glad I did, and I’m proud of myself! Since graduating I haven’t stopped working – 2020 has been an important year for me as I find out more about who I am creatively. I’m always trying out different mediums, and I work a lot of hours, often at night, so my studio at Inverness Creative Academy is a dream, I love it. It’s also given me several opportunities to exhibit, including with Circus Artspace – a contemporary arts collective which is also based in the building.”

Take a look at Evija’s websiteInstagram and Patreon. You can buy her work on Big Cartel and Etsy.

Evija Laivina

Louise Innes was born in Scotland in 1965. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art Textiles from Moray College UHI in 2016, and a 1st Class BA (Hons) in Contemporary and Contextualised Art Practice from Inverness College UHI in 2020. She moved into her Inverness Creative Academy studio the same year.

Louise is inspired by her own family history, childhood memories, and the Highland landscape in which she grew up, and she brings together a wide variety of mediums to create highly textured and exploratory work.

“Inverness College UHI rented studios for its art students at Inverness Creative Academy, and as soon as I walked in the door I felt a step-change in my attitude towards becoming a professional artist – and I immediately applied for my own studio space. 

“I’ve now had my studio for several months and have already benefitted greatly, selling work through the online Wasps shop, making the most of their large network and audience. I feel at home here, and I love mixing with fellow creatives. If I hadn’t become part of the Wasps family after graduating, benefitting from all their support and encouragement, I probably wouldn’t have made such strides in my professional journey so quickly.”

To buy Louise’s work, visit her website. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Louise Innes