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In The Studio: Emmely Elgersma – MA Fine Art

Picture 2
Picture 2

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Published date
12 September 2017

MA Fine Art student Emmely tells us about her surprise at using paper mache as a medium, making 8ft monster pots for the final show and the joys of fish and chips.

Where are you from?
Born in Holland then grew up in East Midlands in a small village (the tree Robin Hood apparently lived in was there) then came to London 8 years ago to do my BA at Central St Martins.

Describe your experience at Chelsea in 3 words
Fast. Really, fast.

Please tell us about your work over the last year
A real eye-opening experience, in which my artistic development is really visible within my work. Who knew I would choose paper mache as a medium?! I explored many themes and ideas I had before the course, but then I also was pushed and inspired during one-on-ones and group crits to create pieces I would  never have made prior to the course.

Please tell us about your work for the final show
I ended up making monster pots for the exterior of Chelsea and then a couple of paintings and mini pots for the interior. The monsters are 8ft paper mache ‘marbled’ pots based on traditional pottery but they are slightly off and wonky due to the material used to create them.

What was your greatest challenge in working towards the degree show?
Time: I was in uni as soon as they let me in until I was thrown out during the final weeks. Up-scaling really tested everything I thought I previously knew about sculpture. Some days I could have just cried, but you just have to take a deep breath, have a coffee, speak with some friends and continue.

What do you see yourself doing after you graduate, what are your career ambitions?
The thing that I love about art is the fact that you can collaborate with so many interesting people and have a boozy private view to celebrate it! So I have a couple of collaborative projects up my sleeve.

What have you enjoyed most about studying at Chelsea?
The variety of students and teachers. No one is the same, everyone’s work and ideas all differ.

What have you most enjoyed about the area around Chelsea? Any tips?
The fish and chip shop just round the corner, amazing chips which they serve proper in newspaper with a wooden fork.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing your course? Any advice?
I couldn’t think of a more valuable experience; I have learnt so much about my interests and how to push them creatively. Sometimes I just wanted to go home and never make anything ever again and then other weeks I couldn’t sleep from excitement of all the things I wanted to make.

But remember to be good to yourself, try to eat and sleep well and have good friends around you to keep you sane, and take you to the pub every now and then. It isn’t easy but then why would you do it if it was? Try your best to be open, speak with other students and collaborate! The course is there for that otherwise you should just use the money for a quiet studio to scratch around in on your own.

Check out more of Emmely’s work

Read more about studying MA Fine Art at Chelsea

Visit our MA Summer Show