ART work depicting Nepal by Bournemouth students has become the backdrop to an urgent appeal to help the stricken country.

The poignant display of tapestry, collage, painting and photography by Bournemouth & Poole College art and design students at Poole High Street's pop-up shop shows images of the Himalayan country before last week's devastating earthquake.

Now with an estimated and rising eight million people affected, 4,000 dead and 50,000 injured, the UK Nepal Friendship Society has used it to launch an appeal for funds.

"They have been talking about this for a long time," said Alan Mercel-Sanca, co-founder of the society, who was integral in getting the students to celebrate the culture of Nepal. "They were waiting for the big one. The last earthquake was in 1934."

He said: "All of my connections, over 150 people, seem to be all safe." But he was hearing terrible tales from other other people's friends and said not much was known about how badly outlying country areas were affected.

"I am getting reports of people whose homes have disappeared and they are trying to get to Katmandu but can't get there. They are stuck outside, it's freezing and the rain is coming down."

He said there were "pot-craters" on roads before the earthquake, in a country of extreme poverty and a rationed electricity supply. "You don't know what's going to happen when you walk out the door," he said.

However the friendly people were extremely resilient and he said his society was well placed with its contacts in the country to provide help where it was most needed.

Govinda Sah, the most famous UK based Nepali painter, who had attended the opening of the college exhibition had now gone back to his country to help relief efforts.

Depicted on a poster at the exhibition is the country's most iconic tower, the Dharahar, which collapsed killing 40 people. "I hope for the national pride, they will rebuild it," he added.

The artwork is on display at the pop-up shop until this Saturday (May 2) and there is a collection box and details of how to donate through the UK Nepali Friendship Society and its website

"I would urge people to donate and help the people of Nepal," said Alan. Fundraising events are also being organised including one on May 23 at the Meyrick Hall, with Boscombe Arts.

*You can also donate through the Disasters Emergency Committee go to or call 0370 60 60 900.