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BA Fine Art Sculpture: Georgie Wilkins and The Freud Takeover

Written by
Loula Mercedes
Published date
09 November 2018

On the 28 August 2018, Camberwell student Georgie Wilkin took over The Freud Museum in London for one day only to present her show, Intuit, an exhibition of her new paintings exploring the subconscious and the complexities of human psyche.

Georgie, who was born in London in the late 90’s, had worked in the art industry for 6 years before considering a degree to explore her practice at Camberwell College of Arts. Now in her final year studying BA Fine Art: Sculpture she feels Camberwell has given her the opportunity to clarify her intentions, referring to her works as ‘defined with the complex uncertainties of life’ and creates fascinating pieces that challenge the viewer’s reasoning.

Here Georgie tells us more about the exhibition, her practice and how she came to study at Camberwell:

“My show Intuit was a takeover of The Freud Museum, a show of new paintings exploring the subconscious and our inner instinct in life and in art. I set out with each painting to encapsulate a moment in time, naming each piece in the series after the moment of its conception – sometimes the time of day, or a feeling remembered. As such, the works in the series stood as visual recordings of a subconscious mind. It was this engagement with the gut, the instinctive, the non-lingual, which provided the intent for the work itself; moments where we can maintain freedom from conscious rationalism and sink into enigmatic intuition.

An abstract yellow, grey, black and white painting.

As part of the exhibition, I partnered with psychoanalytic psychotherapist Dr Sarah Wood to hold a talk at the museum, discussing the ideas behind the work and the relevance of the museum in art today, which was attended by both members of the academic and contemporary art world. It was also an opportunity to approach sponsors who helped with the funding of the event; Free Association Books, Merchant Gourmet and Red Bull all agreed to sponsor the show. I also worked closely with The Espirit Group who kindly managed the event and taught me invaluable lessons about developing a successful exhibition.

A crowd of people at a lecture.

When it comes to my practice, I use my work to gain further insight into the world as I come to understand it, rather than as a tool to comment on it (which is what I see far too much of in art). For me it has always been a way to untangle my brain and understand how I function as a human, at a level untouched by rational understanding. At the moment the most immediate and intuitive mode of working is through paint; I don’t really do sketches and instead work out the image on the canvas directly.

I’m also very driven by materials; I tend to get waves of obsession with unusual mediums which I’ll explore as indicators for unconscious or repressed desires. Critical theory is a huge part of this – philosophers are like artists who use words instead of line and colour; we speak the same language but present our findings in different domains. Using both these resources, I can build a unique understanding of the world I find myself in, and sublimate that into my practice.

A large abstract painting in a room with two wooden chairs in front of it.

When it came to studying at Camberwell, my path has been a little back-to-front as I had worked in the ‘art world’ for 6 years before eventually deciding I wanted to do a degree. I began my career in fashion, working at LOVE magazine with Katie Grand, before transitioning into art, assisting and then managing the studio for YBA artist Mat Collishaw. He was the one who really gave me confidence to pursue my own path.

Camberwell has excellent facilities and isn’t so overwhelmingly huge that you’re not at risk of never seeing a tutor – my course director has always seen eye-to-eye with my ideas and direction, and they have been a steady sounding board throughout my experience here. University is a great way to buy yourself three years of time to make mistakes and clarify your intentions before launching yourself onto the public stage.

Th studio space at Camberwell
The studio space at Camberwell

At Camberwell, other students have helped me learn a lot; observing their attitudes, responses and approaches to different tasks is material for me to work with. Similarly, I feel like I have been able to teach them various tools which I have gained in the workplace, which I hope has helped them develop too.

One thing which has been incredibly valuable to me during my time here is having the space to fail, and freedom to have creative blocks, then working through them; a sort of anonymous cloak which you get three years to literally try whatever you want.

My plans for the future include talking at the Tate in Spring 2019 about my practice – more details to come at the beginning of next year! I will also have another solo show opening immediately after my graduate show in 2019, which I am in discussion about currently and is incredibly exciting.

Over the course of the academic year I aim to develop my skill, aesthetic and audience to ensure that I have a developed practice by the time I leave. I’d like to believe that the graduate show will exhibit the first mature works of mine, to be continued from that point forwards!”

Our chat with Georgie has shown that our BA Fine Art: Sculpture course is a place to explore your practice.

Find out more about BA Fine Art: Sculpture here or why not come to one of our open days.

Related Links:

Camberwell College of Arts

Freud Museum London