FINAL year art students at the University of Bolton are celebrating the opening of their exhibition which is being held both in person and virtually.

Entitled UNRESTRICTED - 2021 The time for change, it marks the first time students have been able to put on an end of year show as their second year exhibition was cancelled due to Covid.

Featuring a wide range of media from sculpture to video, the show is a chance for the students’ hard work to be recognised.

Half of their degree has been impacted by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. The exhibition displays around 40 pieces of artwork.

Artworks can be viewed in person if arranged with the university but a virtual tour has been made available online, with a 360-degree video offering a walk-through.

Final year student Bille Hatton, an exhibition organiser, said: "It’s been a very strange time for our year group as we were meant to have an exhibition last year which never happened, so it’s been good to finally put one on.

“It’s been a challenge - but a good one. We had lots of help from the university and it’s a really interesting experience to share with your coursemates.

“We’ve been so lucky to be able to put on a physical show, we’re very grateful to have that opportunity.

“It was very straight forward to set up the virtual tour - we used a company called Capture VR.

“Now if friends and relatives live far away they can still come see the show which is great.

“Seeing the final exhibition feels like a victory for us, it’s definitely an accomplishment after the challenges we’ve faced.”

Art lecturer Ged Young added: “I’ve taught them throughout their degree so its a real privilege seeing their work on display. Not only have they had to deal with the pandemic, but these students were also affected by the Cube fire as well. Putting on exhibitions is part of their studies and something they haven’t been able to do yet, but they’ve done extremely well with this show.”