Shelter Scotland Marks its 50th Year – But isn’t Celebrating

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday April 16 2018

Pictured: Claire McNally, Andrew Johnston and Graeme Brown.

Shelter Scotland’s Inverness charity shop window display is to carry a striking and provocative artwork created by young designers from The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) as part of a unique creative partnership to mark the housing and homelessness charity’s 50th anniversary.

The 3rd year Communication Design students Claire McNally and Andrew’s design takes the shape of a noticeboard which displays household bills, receipts, arrears letters and summary warrants and depicts the stark reality of many people’s struggle to keep a roof over their heads and their fight to keep their home.

It also asks the question ‘Heading Home?’ and then points out the fact that 3,426 families in Scotland are not.

Claire McNally (age 28 from Bromley)  and Andrew Johnston (age 26 from East Kilbride):

“Our design is intended to overwhelm the viewer by layering a variety of real financial expenses as a way to represent a common reality that many face and how this struggle can contribute to homelessness. 

“This approach is complimented by simple copy that directly addresses the passing public asking them are they ‘Heading Home?’ and then delivering the stark fact that ‘3,426 families in Scotland are not.”

The noticeboard – which will be displayed for the next year – is part of a series of activities the GSA has undertaken to help Shelter Scotland mark its 50th anniversary and will be in all the charity’s 37 shops.

The GSA students have already unveiled the charity’s logo for its 50th and is also running a photography project which will result in a major exhibition later in the year. 

Professor Toms Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art, said:

“Working on this project has been an important opportunity for our students offering the chance to learn more about how to apply their creativity to a live brief.

“We hope that their thought-provoking designs for Shelter Scotland’s shop windows will help to raise awareness of continuing issues around bad housing and homelessness and be a call to action for people to support the charity’s important work in its 50th anniversary year.”

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“This design in the shape of a noticeboard depicts all too clearly the struggles faced by many families and individuals in Scotland to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads. 

“It is a thought-provoking representation of people’s daily struggle to avoid homelessness and I congratulate the young designers on their concept and realisation.

“I encourage local people to visit the shops and take in the messages this excellent work conveys.

“I thank the students and the GSA for their support in marking our 50th year.”

Graeme Brown added:

“This is our 50th year – but we’re not celebrating – we shouldn’t even exist.

“We’re still fighting until there’s a home for everyone in Scotland.”



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