Skip to main content

Your creative future starts here:


Life after Chelsea: Caroline Popham, Graduate Diploma Fine Art

Caroline Popham in her Studio 2018
Written by
Gavin Freeborn
Published date
07 August 2018

As part of our series catching up with Chelsea alumni as we approach this year’s MA summer show opening on 7th September, we hear from Caroline Popham who graduated from Graduate Diploma Fine Art in 2016, to see what she’s been up to since her time at Chelsea. Her work has evolved and she’s busy with lots of interesting commissions.

An abstract pink painting, with a red semi-circle and a black line going through it.
Caroline Popham Collaboration

Caroline tells us what she’s been up to since Chelsea:

“I had previously worked as a graphic designer and since graduating I have phased this side of my working life out and focused primarily on my own work, which has grown since graduation but when I look back I seem themes that reoccur.

A large abstract white painting with a pink and black semi-circle and a black line.
Caroline Popham Coalese 2018

“I have chosen to adapt my practice to being more studio based as I no longer have access to workshops available at Chelsea. When I was at Chelsea my practice was concerned with repetition and also examinations of colour charges. This remains as the backbone, however the format has completely changed. At Chelsea I was making in 3D and now I am painting, which has led to painting commissions.

A woman and a dog sitting in front of a large, abstract painting.
Caroline Popham in her Studio 2018

“I came to Chelsea without a clear idea of what my practice was in the literal sense. I knew that I wanted to make my own work however I didn’t know what that was as I was so used to a graphic design style brief. Chelsea gave the opportunity to stop, think and explore what I was interested in. The creative discourse also helped me greatly as part of this research process.”

Caroline’s advice to future graduates is “use your network of friends, colleagues, family is key as a starting point to connect to people about your work. Social media has been good for me so an up to date profile and my website has been very important. Engagement with people who are interested in my work has also been important. I do this by sending out a newsletter and posting regularly.”

We’re certainly looking forward to seeing what exciting destination Caroline’s practice will take her next.

Connect and see more work via Caroline’s website or Caroline’s Instagram.

Come along to this year’s MA summer show

Read more about Graduate Diploma Fine Art

A large abstract painting with a black and yellow line going through it..
Caroline Popham Lines 2018