AROUND 150 pieces of art by local people will go on show this weekend after an “overwhelming” response to an appeal by Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch branch asked people to respond in art to the question “What inspires you about human rights?”

The mayors of Bournemouth and Poole will each officially open exhibitions in their towns.

Amnesty supporter Genevieve Talon said the artists included secondary school pupils, Arts University Bournemouth students, and local arts groups and societies. As well as oils and watercolours, there are sculptures, installations and films.

Genevieve said: “Some artists selected articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights such as article one – all human beings born free and equal in dignity and rights.

“Some chose to illustrate specific cases, such as Malala, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot for demanding the right to education, the military dictatorship in Burma, or the heartache of families having to flee from Kosovo.

“Some chose general themes that Amnesty has recently been campaigning about, such as the brutality of the death penalty, women’s rights or the dangers of an unrestricted arms trade.”

She added: “While many of the works are witness to the pain and misery so many have to endure, the main message that comes through is one of hope and determination.”

Different art can be seen at each of the exhibition venues. The shows run from Saturday March 8 until Saturday April 5 at Christchurch Priory; the Red House Museum in Christchurch; St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth town centre; and Bournemouth Library.

There will also be a show at the commercial art gallery Metropolis in Westbourne from April 7-12.

Admission is free and all art will be on sale, with a proportion of the proceeds going to Amnesty International.