Amelia talks about working with Lonely Planet and the National Theatre.
Please describe a project you worked on during your course
We were given the option of working in groups to produce a final project so myself and another student on the course put together a theatre guide for students. As part of our research we were fortunate enough to telephone interview the Editor of Lonely Planet, Peter Grunert to find out how the content of his magazine is assembled and edited. A tutor on the course was kind enough to put us in touch with Fiona Mountford too, a theatre critic for the Evening Standard who gave us insight into press passes and the process of critiquing which made the project feel more tangible.
Whilst deciding which play’s to reference we found out the playwright Richard Bean had a new play in rehearsal at the National Theatre so we googled his contact details and asked if we could meet for an interview. He came back to us almost immediately, inviting us to the rehearsal rooms at the National Theatre so we met him there and he took us to the canteen where he allowed us to record an hours long interview with him and introduced us to some of the cast. It was so generous of him to give us so much of his time and later that week he sent us a copy of his second ‘working’ draft so that we could compare it to the play it was based on (A Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni). The course tutors often encouraged us to collect our own research and explore around the source of your interest.
How did you hear about CSM?
I grew up in London and had come to regard CSM as a powerful and influential art and fashion institution. I had accepted a place at UEA to study History of Art but after 3 weeks on campus I found it to be too far away from the galleries that inspired my passion to study. Within my unplanned gap gear I worked at a gallery and had my heart set on going to Manchester University. Within the UCAS application form I had to submit a 5th choice and in a rush chose UAL. When I was invited to interview at CSM I was completely astonished, I would never have had the confidence to apply consciously so it was completely incidental but by far the best coincidence to date.
How would you describe your course?
It’s interesting and adaptable; each tutor has a different specialty, which allows flexibility with subject matter and encourages different writing, research and presentation styles.
What is a typical day like?
Before the move to King’s Cross, CCC was based in Back Hill in Farringdon. On a typical week we would spend roughly 3 half day’s in College for a lecture, seminar or tutorial and then walk to the neighbouring CSM buildings for a library session. The rest of the day would tend to be spent in a gallery or gallery café or attending a free talk at the National Portrait Gallery or ICA.
Did you gain any experience of working with industry?
Throughout first and second year I worked at the Saatchi Gallery on the weekends, first as an invigilator and then as front of house supervisor. It was a fantastic opportunity to work in a public space and to see how exhibitions are installed and maintained. I respect all of the people that work there, the access and platform the building and website gives to new artists and artwork is really incredible.
I volunteered in the College archive for a few months and helped to pull together the final exhibition in the Lethaby Gallery with Judy Lindsay (Head of Museum & Study Collection). Whilst in the archive I was sent on a short course with the MLA about quantitative and qualitative data research for public spaces which was interesting. I think the more things you try out the more it helps to steer you towards your general interests and passion.
What sort of a person do you think you need to be to do well on your course?
I think it helps to be proactive and inquisitive on the course and in the College.
What do you love about CSM and why would you recommend it?
The culture of the College and opportunities it sparks.
What you hope to go on to do?
Since graduating I was lucky enough to work for a music management company assisting the manager of Calvin Harris and then appointed Office/Brand Coordinator. I hope to study MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at CSM to learn more and find out what it’s like in King’s Cross.
What advice would you pass on?
If you don’t understand something ask questions and always go with your gut feeling.
What have your highlights been?
The coach trip to see some National Trust properties in East Sussex with the Course Director Caroline Dakers, it was surreal but fantastic. I also enjoyed our time looking through photographs from Central School of Art & Design, Saint Martins School of Art and St Martins students from the 50’s & 60’s in preparation for an exhibition in the Window Gallery and seeing the Kings Cross site before development began.
Our interview with Richard Bean was also a huge highlight since it was so unexpected and very interesting and encouraged a new type of confidence, to be more inquisitive and resourceful.