As part of our One Year On series, we caught up with BA Fine Art alumni Faron Ray, winner of the Dean’s Prize at the undergraduate summer show 2015.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
Juggling a variety of temporary arts jobs in galleries, such as working as a technician or invigilator, doing some freelance web design, and also teaching on the BA and Foundation courses back in my hometown of Scarborough in Yorkshire.
The rest of the time I have been working pretty much solidly on a variety of artistic projects. Last October only months after I graduated from Chelsea I was selected to be part of a research trip to CERN and the Global Nansen Initiative conferences in Geneva, which culminated in an exhibition at Chelsea in the Triangle Space gallery.
I have also participated in group shows, had essays and work published in a couple of art journals and embarked on my first curatorial project in which I brought together 14 visual artists from around the world, a sound artist and a web developer to create a browser-based exhibition. This included organising a launch event in London for the show’s opening. The show can be accessed via www.clubdead.io.
Tell us about your practice, how was it developed since graduating?
One goes through many different stages in one’s practice, I find that shifts occur that forever alter the way I approach art, like landmark moments of realignment, from where I could not possibly return to making the work I made before that shift.
Since graduating I certainly feel like I have had a number of these shifts. For example, the process of working with a team for the Clubdead project revealed to me both my own aptitude for and desire to work on more collaborative projects in the future.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently taking a break for a month or so, making music, spending time with friends. Luckily, I’m in a great community of artists that developed from curating Clubdead. Myself and another artist from this group, a recent London fine art graduate are now talking about applying to residency programs together as a duo, so we’ll see what happens with that. I’m also in the process of sorting myself out with a proper studio from home in my flat, turning one of the rooms into a studio/office space. I’ve lived in a chaotic mess of indistinguishable live/work environments for too long and have known for a while that I need to invest some time in creating a more efficient and streamlined working environment for myself.
What do you miss most about Chelsea?
I don’t actually miss being a student at Chelsea, however I take this as testament to how Chelsea has in fact prepared me for life as a practitioner outside of University.
It’s also important to add that whilst I say that I personally do not miss being at Chelsea, I am a rather strange candidate for this question for the reason that I actually still spend a great deal of time at Chelsea, be that working for the college at numerous events and temporary job placements, coming to visit friends that are still studying or when I took part in the group exhibition back at Chelsea that came out of the Geneva project.
I have continued to feel very much supported and part of the community at Chelsea since I graduated, so I don’t miss being a student, but instead I am thankful for the time I had there and the connection I continue to have with the college.
What advice would you give to our students who are about to graduate?
Make sure you’re doing what makes you happy. Art is nothing if not for the good people, good discourse and community that makes it!
Check out Faron Ray’s website.
Find out more about BA Fine Art