As Anna Minchell prepares for the Summer Shows, she talks to us about the fluidity in her practice within BA Textile Design, her curatorial ambitions and how she challenges conventions surrounding display concepts.
Where are you from?
County Durham, England
Describe your experience at Chelsea in 3 words.
Trial and error
Please tell us about what you are working on for your final show.
For my final show I looked at the context of viewing. I am interested in the gallery/museum grammar of display and how its receptivity and meaning is directly linked to this, changing work from an exhibition display to an active contributor to the artwork itself. I aim to challenge display conventions by playing upon them in my work.
What has been your greatest challenge so far in working towards the degree show?
Most definitely the greatest challenge is working with space and sizing up! As a designer who takes upon the challenge of creating an installation, working with the space and creating an impact with size becomes a priority, all of which I had not done before. Having worked with small samples in the studio previously, I found that the works change tremendously when they are sized-up and I’ve had to rethink a lot of ways of achieving what I wanted when working on a bigger scale.
What do you see yourself doing after you graduate, what are your career ambitions?
I’d really like to get into the curation and the setting up of exhibitions and explore the thought behind this. When visiting galleries and museums it’s always the context in which the works are presented which intrigues me.
What have you enjoyed most about studying at Chelsea?
Having the freedom to do whatever we want! If I hadn’t chosen Chelsea and hadn’t experienced such an experimental course, I wouldn’t have discovered my interest in making work for an art purpose rather than a design one. Despite my interest now laying more in art and a hopeful career in that field, had I not experienced Chelsea and specifically BA Textile Design, I would never have discovered my specialism, or gained the knowledge and creativity that I have.
What have you most enjoyed about the area around Chelsea? Any tips?
Whenever I get a bit overwhelmed or confused with my work (a reoccurring thing I’ve experienced in third year) I go sit in Tate Britain, clear my head and just sit and don’t think. We’re very lucky to have it on our doorstep, and the free entry to Tate Britain for Chelsea students is a bonus!
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing your course? Any advice?
Studying in London alone can be quite daunting and forces you to mature quite quickly. But what I’ve gained from Chelsea I think are skills for progressing onto a career. The course doesn’t spoon feed you but helps you to become independent artists and designers. BA Textiles allows you to mature in your work, in whatever form that may take: be it print, ceramic, film, or a dabble in between!
You can see more work on Anna Minchell’s Website
Find out more about our BA Textile Design course
Check out our Undergraduate Summer Show
Header image caption ‘Photographic Print in Menu Holder’, Anna Minchell