This week we talked to Theresa Caruana, from Brooklyn, New York who studied MA Fine Art and graduated in 2014.
Describe your Chelsea experience in 3 words? Challenging, Invigorating & Trans-formative
What did you enjoy most about studying at Chelsea? The opportunity to be surrounded by artists (students and staff) who simultaneously enlightened, challenged and supported the development of my practice
How did you enjoy London? I’ve enjoyed experiencing the excitement and challenge of jostling for space amongst London’s art establishment.
Where do you live? Currently residing in Nottingham and staying in Kent when at Chelsea.
What were your greatest challenges on the course and how did you overcome them? Limitations of space and constant travel inspired me to adopt a flat pack, light weight design to all my artworks. In turn this solution added a novel material and conceptual aspect to my work by directly engaging with the common experience of urban life in the 21st Century.
What are your greatest achievements/awards/exhibitions? In November 2013 I completed Art in Your Park, a public art exhibition I created in collaboration with WW Gallery, London and Nottingham University. I commissioned new artworks by eight contemporary artists, including Royal College tutor in sculpture, Kate Davis, Flora Parrott and Royal Academy student in painting Frank Kent who exhibited for one month across 200 acres of parkland in central Nottingham. I raised over £40,000 of funding from The Arts Council, AHRC and Nottingham University as well as project managing, curating and exhibiting my own work. I have been Visiting Research Fellow of Nottingham University’s internationally renowned Mixed Reality Lab since 2009, developing interactive mobile technology that supports the curation of art in the public realm. I developed with Dr Ben Bedwell Wander Anywhere, a system that allows anyone to add media content to any location ready to be found/experienced via audiences’ mobile phones. This system is being tested by Tate Britain as part of their Art Maps initiative.
What do you see yourself doing after your studies? Chelsea has helped me to align my interests in the conceptual implications of an ever-growing ‘mobile’ and ‘interactive’ experience of contemporary life (facilitated by digital technology) with my desire to work physically with more traditional materials. The outcome of this has been to produce paintings that can be handled like maps, sculpture that can be read as signposts and architectural interventions that amplify natural elements such as the movement of the wind or the sound of the rain. I intend to continue with this for some time after my MA and engage with curators and dealers who can support me in making this work accessible to international audiences.
And lastly, what would you say to anyone thinking of doing MA Fine Art? Go for it. Definitely one of the best decisions I ever had the opportunity to make!