Native of the the Isle of Wight, Lee Blanch lived on various parts of the UK’ south coast until 2009 when he relocated to London. We talked to Lee about his most recent show and his experience as a Foundation Diploma student at Camberwell.
You recently had a show at Wilson Road, how was it for you?
Getting the chance to share my work with the other students and staff was a validating experience – particularly as I got to see my video work on the big screen. It was also the first time I actually got to see the work of the other students in my specialism and there were some very strong pieces. I don’t think Time-Based Media is given enough credit – particularly when it comes to making audio-visual work – which is a very intense and demanding process and requires a lot of effort.
Why did you choose Camberwell?
I chose Camberwell because I felt that it catered to a broader spectrum of media across multiple disciplines. Although my main interest is to work in Fine Art, I liked the open approach and ethos of Camberwell within art and design. Not to mention that it’s just down the road from me and is considered a “world class art school”, according to Wikipedia!
Tell us about your experience at Camberwell so far?
Challenging – but in a good way. Due to long-term health issues, I’ve had difficulty in the past when attempting to progress academically. Since starting the Foundation programme, the tutors and staff have been nothing short of amazing when it comes to academic (and emotional) support. With that in mind, it has allowed me to explore my creativity within a very supportive environment, surrounded by lots of creative and inspiring individuals, both staff and students alike – it has been encouraging and a major factor in helping me to keep going. In turn this has helped me to build up my confidence, in my practice and socially as well.
I work a lot in my own time, and Camberwell Library has some very helpful online resources and access to tutorial websites, which has been an invaluable learning resource. I was then able to develop my skills with working with sound and video to try and refine new techniques and shape my practice in a way that’s compatible with my creative flow.
Students studying 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.
How was the diagnostic mode for you?
Although I had a strong idea of the direction I wanted to go, the diagnostic mode actually challenged this and gave me the opportunity to explore regions of art and design I had yet to try. By the time it was over, I had a last minute change of heart; initially I was going to go with Painting but with the support and advice of my tutors, I decided to choose Time-Based Media, it turned out to be the right decision and I don’t regret it.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a step-by-step plan in my head to becoming a world-famous artist. Seriously.
Any advice for future students?
Keep an open mind; if you’re truly serious about art then it should become your life – I thoroughly believe that. Also, don’t call the tutors “Miss” or “Sir” – treat them like a colleague rather than an authoritarian figure; they’re there to help, encourage and support your experience throughout the foundation – so never be afraid to ask for help.