Students on the Foundation Diploma at Camberwell have the opportunity to be introduced to Art, Communication and Design disciplines during their diagnostic mode, before choosing one specialist option. We talked to Foundation Diploma student Alexander Harding about the impact that the diagnostic mode had on his work and how it helped him select his specialism as Fine Art Painting.
I’m from Reading, meaning London was never really that far away. Plus my mum was a student at London College of Fashion, so when it came to realising that studying art was what I wanted to do, I knew that London was the place to be.
It’s honestly been really great, I don’t think I would have pushed my practice forward, as much as I have done, if I had stayed at my old college. The tutors are really encouraging, you’re treated as an artist rather than just a student and it’s nice to be given your own personal space to work in. I’d say my highlight is just being to lay out all my paints and stuff and not having to pack it up and take it home at the end of each day.
Please tell us about your experience of the diagnostic mode?
It was interesting trying out subject areas that I never had the chance to before; I wasn’t certain which specific area I wanted to go into when I started the course. It was good to try out all the different areas, and understand their ways of thinking as it helped re affirm that I was more interested in Fine Art than Design.
I’ve enjoyed learning how to make my own surfaces to paint on, rather than just buying canvas. I think that’s moved my practice on a lot. I’ve been taught to think and consider media and materials in different ways; I’m using a lot of house paint in my work now, which I would never have thought of a year ago.
You recently had a group show at Wilson Road, how was it for you?
I thought it was a really good idea for a show (we had to make 3 postcard sized pieces and send them in to college via post over Christmas). On the Friday after we came back, after the critique was over, we all went up to the gallery and had a little private view with drinks and nibbles; Raf Zawistoski came in that day a gave a bit of a speech about it as well which was cool.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to end up working somewhere surrounded by art, perhaps in a gallery or as a curator or writer. I’m starting an internship in a gallery in February, to test that idea out. I’m torn between studying art further, or taking a BA in something more theoretical like Art History.