Skip to main content

Your creative future starts here:


Life At Chelsea: Lora Nikolaeva – MA Fine Art

30346892608_9c28ab6a27_b (1)
30346892608_9c28ab6a27_b (1)

Written by
Natalie Anastasiou
Published date
26 October 2018

Continuing our Life At Chelsea series, about student experiences at Chelsea and how the workshop, studio and gallery environment has shaped their practice and led to new opportunities.

We caught up with Lora Nikolaeva from MA Fine Art.

Reflection of woman in a round mirror

“My work has developed so much over the last year. I’ve had the freedom to experiment more in my art and it has allowed me to branch out and try new things. I’ve taken my work in a more conceptual direction. Before my practice could be defined as material and process based, now it’s developed and involves sculpture and video installation. My degree show work was sculpture and video installation. Big, flashy and slightly risqué.

“My inspiration mainly comes from popular culture and media. I’m heavily influenced by the digital slipstream and fragmented visuals. I also have a background in the sciences, I’m also a (former) dentist, so materials and figuring things out in a logical analytical manner play a huge part.

“My biggest influence during my time at Chelsea was working in an open environment and the discussions with my peers, tutors and the different people I’ve met through the course.

“My practice was informed so much by the workshop and studio environment. It’s taught me to be adaptable and hone in on the important things regarding how things get made, how to be efficient and how best to identify what does and doesn’t work.

“Just being around a diverse group of people with different ideas and experiences really elevates what you do within your own practice.

A hand holding a blue butterfly

“I’ve been asked to collaborate and participate in an artist collective and publication. We have been developing and brainstorming ideas these last few months.

“I have taken part in some self-directed pop up art exhibitions with groups of fellow MA Fine Art students. It was fun and we learned a lot about how to practically organise ourselves and curate shows with very different and disparate types of work.

“I’ve enjoy studying and living in London because it’s a cultural hub and melting pot of creativity and artistic ideas. There’s always something on, something new to see. It’s constantly changing.

“After Chelsea I will continue developing my art practice and hopefully apply for some residencies.

“I’m proud to be Chelsea alumni because the college has an illustrious history and reputation of fostering creatives who think a little outside the box.

“My advice to new students is to be open minded and willing to try new things and get outside of your comfort zone. Make the most of the opportunities available to you, stay focused and work hard.

“My Chelsea in three words? Inspiring, intensive and incredibly productive.“

A woman's face pressed against a pane of glass

If you would like to see me of Lora’s work then please visit her Instagram page

Explore work by more students at

Find out more about MA Fine Art