THEY started out as 46 plain white vases, blank ceramics, but have now been transformed into stunning designs by some of Scotland’s most high profile contemporary artists and creatives.

From David Mach, known for his large Big Heid sculptures along the M8, to Adrian Wiszniewski, Celie Byrne, daughter of artist John Byrne, and Neil McPherson, the response has been overwhelming for organiser and artist June Carey.

And there will be a rare opportunity to see the vases when they are exhibited at the Glasgow Print Studio next month for Art In Mind.

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While most are known for their art, Rebus creator Ian Rankin has also produced a vase which will be on display. His design involves noughts and crosses which is a homage to the first novel Rebus appeared in, Knots and Crosses, in 1987. Comedian Phill Jupitus has also got involved in the project and currently embarking on a new path studying art at Dundee University.

Following the exhibition, the vases will be auctioned off to help raise awareness and funds for mental health charity Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

David Mach is taking part in the exhibition

David Mach is taking part in the exhibition

The vases will go on show together for the first and last time from May 18 to 29 at the Trongate studio before being auctioned online free-of-charge by James MacNaught of Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull.

It is a project which has drawn artists together to help raise funds for a worthy cause. All the proceeds go to SAMH and noone involved has taken any payment, including Glasgow Print Studio and the artists, as well as Lyon & Turnbull, who will be doing the silent auction on May 30.

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Organiser Ms Carey said: “Over the years, I have become increasingly aware of the number of people whose lives have been touched in some way by mental illness. Although largely invisible, mental illness can be devastating, not only to sufferers themselves but also, by association, to their families and friends. So much human potential is lost, and so many lives blighted. It was this thought, along with the desire to do something to help, that led to the creation of Art in Mind.

"Thankfully, today, many public figures are talking about their own mental health challenges, which undoubtedly encourages more open discussion in the general population. This, in turn, helps to reduce stigma, thereby making it easier for people to seek help when they need it.

"The current pandemic, however, has caused a dramatic increase in mental health problems, and funding for the mental health charities which provide support to sufferers is needed more urgently now than ever."

Heather Nevays vase for exhibition and auction

Heather Nevay's vase for exhibition and auction

Self-taught artist Ross Muir, whose Van Gogh in Adidas track suit, Square Gogh, hit the headlines, has designed a vase. He has previously spoken about his struggle with addiction.

Ms Carey, who began her art education in the 1960s at Glasgow School of Art, added: “The response from Scotland's artists has been amazing and we could have invited many more. So far all of the vases are intact for transporting to the exhibition and it has been some operation to gather them in from all over the country. There are many more people I would have loved to have asked so I am hoping we can make this a biennial event."

Cindy Cosgrove, Community Fundraiser at SAMH, said: “We are delighted that Art in Mind is supporting SAMH and Scotland’s mental health. It has never been more important that we do everything we can to ensure people experiencing mental health problems receive the help they need, and have their voices heard. In the difficult times that we are all living through, the Art in Mind project is sure to act as a comfort and inspiration to many – while the funds raised will help ensure SAMH can continue to be there for anyone who needs us. A heartfelt thank you to the artists and all those involved in Art in Mind.”

John Mackechnie, director of Glasgow Print Studio, said they too were incredibly supportive of the chosen charity, adding: "Mental Health is such an important cause, perhaps now more so than ever and we were more than happy to show our support by offering the GPS gallery as a venue. We are really impressed by the quality of work and range of artists including many of whom we have had the pleasure of working with over the years at Glasgow Print Studio. This is a wonderful opportunity to see the works in the flesh before they are snapped up by lucky buyers.

"The vases will never again be seen together as a group and I for one cannot wait to see them in our beautiful gallery alongside the works of John Byrne."