I actually did not do a BA but went straight into the postgraduate programme. I was a self-taught artist and spent thirteen years working freelance, juggling my arts practice with commissioned freelance jobs to fund that practice. I pretty much learnt as I went along and was always surrounded by books armed with a huge curiosity and I was generally found making pictures or experimenting in the darkroom.
I increasingly became more interested in a more conceptual and theoretical angle to my work and I felt that my practice would benefit from being in an academic environment and immersing myself in this environment for a while. For this reason, I chose to move to London and pursue this postgraduate course to put more focus into my work and my practice. I feel this is a time where once again art is in a state of flux; the old rules (if there were ever any) do not apply. I wanted to be in an environment where I could rethink the strategies of making my own work.
My current practice stems from a preoccupation of time, the passing of time, lost time, immeasurable time and the proverbial time being. Or to really go to the heart of the matter, what happens to those moments of time that are not charged with significance or meaning? Do these moments fall out of our memory, like moments of amnesia? I am currently approaching this issue through the use of filmic time to illustrate this preoccupation and this desire to attempt to quantify or measure the immeasurable.
The thesis I am setting out to prove is that the passing of time, the future turning into the past, exists in an abstract form only in that monotonous state of non-being, uncharged, wasted and lost time. Whereas charged time is timeless, has no chronology and does not recede into the past, insignificant and lost.
The work definitely aims to be innovative and the main concern is creating work on an abstract notion that goes beyond representation.
My course is an environment that has challenged anything I ever thought I knew, or at least has made me see what I had already seen under a different light. That, blended with being introduced to a multiplicity of new ideas, theories, artists, thinkers and innovators, has sharpened my way of thinking and my approach to making work. It is a mixture of group crits and individual tutorials, which give an unrivalled opportunity to put you and your work in the line of fire. It is also an opportunity to meet known artists face to face rather than just researching them or looking at their work on printed pages.
I chose this particular course, or perhaps this particular university because I was attracted to the combination of theory and practice that the course offers and my experience here has confirmed this. There is no distinction between the classroom and the studio, between making work and research. The blend and form parts of the whole and that is always what I wanted my work to be.
I always feel that there is so much going on around me that it becomes hard to keep up with everything. The opportunity is definitely there when it comes to collaboration opportunities but I guess you have to be selective because it is impossible to be part of everything especially when you are immersed in writing a dissertation or trying to consolidate all your experiments into one final piece for your degree show. On that point though, I think that both our final degree show and our interim show in the first year are great opportunities to experience the students of the postgraduate fine art programmes come together to put a cross-discipline show together.
To get my work noticed, to be exhibited internationally, to keep making work and to create opportunity and never stop growing as an artist. I also run an independent gallery in my country, which I founded a couple of years ago – the project goes by the name of BLITZ (thisisblitz.com). So the idea is to bridge the two. My aim is to make the most of being located in London – both in the growth of my practice as well as taking back a wealth of resource and more informed curatorial decisions to BLITZ. I hope to eventually make it part of an international network that goes beyond the borders of the island.
To always be the best that you can, to take risks, to push boundaries and have no fear. Once this is achieved, aim higher once again. I don’t think there are ever an ultimate plateau that is reached but only steps and an ever-growing process. At the end of the day, you are making art, so have fun!