It may sound barking mad, but the pooches of Dundee are just one of the sources of inspiration for an artistic celebration of the city’s history.

Students at the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) will deserve a round of a-paws from visitors to this year’s Archive Exhibition project, having also drawn inspiration from locations such as Baxter Park, a former whaling ship, and the University itself, to bring the city’s rich history to life.

Ellie Kerr was inspired by whaling recordsThird-year Illustration students have been involved in the course’s annual display – the Archive Exhibition which this year is titled History in the Making – with pieces inspired from material held within the University Archives. The results are now on display to the public at DJCAD’s Matthew Building, Perth Road.

As inspiration, each student is presented with a mystery box chronicling a local institution or life, challenging them to encapsulate it through a new piece of artwork.

Catherine Bowtle used the oral testimony of Jean Richardson and tales of her war service with the Wrens to create this piece

Among this year’s works is a dog disc matching game, celebrating the dogs – and their owners – of Baxter Park. Visitors are invited to use their skills of deduction to match the pet with the appropriate person while learning more about the iconic park and its role in city life. The idea was spawned from a number of memories left by individuals detailing their relationship with the park


Katherine Donaghy based her game on archives relating to Baxter Park

Another creation has used small ceramic tiles with painted depictions of The Courier and other local press which chart the development of the University of Dundee. When laid on top of one another, the tiles recreate the University’s Carnegie Building. The idea stemmed from a small box of newspaper cuttings featuring articles on Queen’s College, from which the University grew.

Clara Marks Lewin’s response to newspaper cuttings of the University’s history

The Archive Exhibition project has been running since January 2017 and has inspired a range of exciting exhibition works reflecting the contents of the University of Dundee Archives. These testimonies offer insights into the lives of people who have lived and worked in Dundee and its surrounding areas and further afield.

Gregory Yap’s piece reflected on the life of Charles Lorimer a jute worker in India

Natalie Russell, Illustration lecturer, said, “Our annual Archive Project is a unique challenge, pushing students to think of new and innovative ways to celebrate the life and times of Dundee and the local area.

“It is always a delight to witness the creative process that is sparked once the students receive their box. It is also a brilliant way to connect students, many who may not be from the area, or even Scotland, to Dundee and its rich history.”

Marie Pape’s map of Dundee

History in the Making runs until Wednesday 20 March, with the exhibition open Monday – Friday from 10am – 5pm. Entry is free.

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