Alumni Perspectives

We asked some of our most recent graduates what they thought about the course, what studying at Central Saint Martins is like, and what they’ve been up to since leaving.

Why did you choose to study MA Culture Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins?

Sylvia Siyi Chen: The course is quite unique, combining theoretical study and a collaborative project. For me, the theory was essential as I already had working experience. The course also welcomes students from different backgrounds.

Rosie Ram: It seemed academically rigorous and practical in comparison to other curating courses, and the more interdisciplinary approach appealed to me and suited my background. The course has opened up many new opportunities and has helped prepare me for my current career.

Paola Totaro: For a professional already well entrenched in their career, this course was brilliant. It’s intense and intellectually rigorous, but is completed in a relatively short time and was manageable with my working life. The Kings Cross campus is fantastic and, as an older student, the mix of ages was a delightful experience. We still catch up two years after graduation!

Gili Yuval: I was interested in museology and the course looked like a perfect fit. It had the cultural aspect in addition to critical thinking and the methodology of curation. When I saw the amazing campus on one of the college open days, I knew this is where I wanted to spend a year of my life.

What are the best things about the course?

Rosie Ram: The programme is varied and comprehensive, and gave me a thorough understanding of curatorial theory and practice. It introduced me to many important theorists and texts, and the supportive atmosphere encouraged creative and critical thinking.

I enjoyed working with students from a broad range of backgrounds too. I came from a non-arts background and in my year we had philosophy, art history, comparative literature and fine art graduates, as well as a journalist and photographer. This enriched debates and broadened our definition of curating.

Sylvia Siyi Chen: I had always dreamed of working in the art world. As a student from a non-arts background, the course helped me develop my career in this field and gave me a platform to observe and practice in contemporary art and culture.

Jennifer Ideh: It was fantastic for fine tuning my skills in exhibition design and management, as well as collection management. I also enjoyed the practical and highly academic elements of the course, and this has directly informed the way I work with clients today.

Paola Totaro: I think the course is particularly interesting for professionals in creative industries. It allowed me to explore cultural theory without taking a break from my career, and the wide variety of lecturers and experiences were invaluable.

Gili Yuval: Studying in London is the best benefit for any lover of culture. Because of its multidisciplinary approach, Central Saint Martins is a great place to find inspiration and elaborate your creative thinking. As you're surrounded by creative people from different backgrounds, you can also grow your network with researchers, artists and cultural stake holders while you’re here.

What have you worked on since graduating, and what are you doing now?

Rosie Ram: In 2014 I co-curated a vitrine display on Anthony Caro's radical teaching methods in the 1960s, alongside fellow MA Culture Criticism and Curation graduate Ludovica Gilio, and worked as a freelance Archivist and Collection Manager for the Nigel Henderson Estate.

This year I’ve worked as a Researcher and Editor for Thomas Williams, an art dealer and author specialising in 20th Century American and British art, and have been supporting the Director of Chisenhale Gallery as a Gallery Assistant.

Sylvia Siyi Chen: I have been working in Hong Kong’s Pace gallery since graduating.

Paola Totaro: I returned to my freelance journalism career and was elected President of the Foreign Press Association in London, one of the oldest foreign correspondents’ clubs in the world. I have since chaired briefings for international journalists covering the UK and Europe by politicians, academics and writers.

As a freelance correspondent, I’ve travelled throughout Europe and written features for national newspapers including The Guardian, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, and The New York Times.

Gili Yuval: Since graduating I’ve worked as an independent curator and digital consultant for arts projects. I co-curated the exhibition Art in the House at Goethe Institut London, and manage digital projects for art galleries, design initiatives and films.

Jennifer Ideh: I used to work in sales and exhibition management for a private art dealer in Chelsea. Now, I run my own international art consultancy business, Curus.