Unpacked : Home from Home

A collaborative project between the University Art Collection and Stirling and Falkirk Councils.

In 2019, The Art Collection at the University of Stirling showcased a mixed media work created by a group of Syrian women now settled in the Stirling and Falkirk area.

About The Workshop

The work in the exhibition was created during art workshops at the University over 12 weeks, between September and December 2018. During the series of workshops, led by artist Brigid Collins with support from students of the MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling, participants reflected on their experiences of leaving their homes in Syria, their journey to Scotland and shared their feelings of making a new home in Scotland. The resulting artwork represents a process of ‘unpacking’ of individual stories of refugee experience.

Together, the group created a series of “Postcard Books”, which contain collages and texts illustrating thoughts and memories. Each of the books holds individual meaning and was developed within a safe space in order to convey a collective story. Jonathan Sharp, Stirling Council Support and Integration officer at Falkirk Council said: “The exhibition has been a hugely positive experience for these women. Art, poetry and literature has played an important role for many of the learners, looking for solace as their world changes and this project has given each individual an opportunity to share what is important to them as well as share and exchange language, experiences and cultural outlets with staff and students at the University.”

Unpacked: Home from Home was displayed at the Art Collection at the University until between January and August 2019, as part of Experiences of Exile series of exhibitions, events and workshops run by the Art Collection at the University and now forms part of the permanent collection. For further information about the work of the Art Collection please visit