Michael Eden has been taking short courses at Central Saint Martins since 2012. Most recently attending the Practical Metalwork Workshop during Summer School, we spoke with Michael about why he continues to return to CSM Short Courses...
“They have acted as short but very positive shots of creativity.”
Where are you from and what's your favourite thing about it?
I'm from South Shields which is town on the north east coast near Newcastle. My favourite thing about it would be the beach, especially in winter when the sea is really rough, living in London I find that quite therapeutic now. I can't leave out the way that place, South Shields, seems to give people a good sense of humour.
What is your occupation?
I work in academic support, which basically means helping students with their writing, so I get to meet a lot of different kinds of people who all have the common denominator of being creative. I'm also studying a practice led PhD in Fine Art which is about monsters, landscape and subjectivity which is my obsession at the moment.
What short course/courses did you to study upon at Central Saint Martins (CSM), and what was your journey to the course?
I have studied four short courses at Central Saint Martins over the last 8 years - Introduction to Sculpture, Art and Politics: From Dada to the Present, Expressive Painting and most recently, the introductory Practical Metalwork Workshop course. I found the first course, Introduction to Sculpture, whilst browsing online and after attending I was really surprised to see what was possible in one week when you have the right tutor and the right equipment. After that I tried to make time for a course each summer, they have acted as short but very positive shots of creativity.
Practical Metalwork Workshop
What did you enjoy most about your recent short course?
I had no grounding in metalwork at all so I was really pleased to have made something I was happy with. The tutor (Rachel Mandley) was very good at getting people to a point where they could start on their own projects after learning how to use the various equipment and then assisted each person when they needed help. I found working with metal oddly enabling although that's mainly due to a very well set up studio and being guided by an expert in the background!
What is it like studying in London?
I studied my BA and MA in London and as I mentioned I'm now doing a PhD here. What's kept me in London, despite the expense, is access to arts, culture and education and a network of people who also care about those things.
How has your short course benefited your career, education and/or personal development? What are you going to do next with your new skills?
The object I made whilst attending the Practical Metalwork Workshop is the head piece of a sleeping figure so I would now like to make the body and I have been researching equipment, materials and possible further learning. I feel far more confident working in 3D, it’s important to try new materials but without the short course that would have been extremely difficult.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking a short course at CSM. Why should they study there?
I have never been disappointed in the content of the courses at CSM, or the tutors who deliver them, who I found to be friendly as well as knowledgeable. Further to this I've left each course with new friends from all over the world having spent a week in a beautiful building.
What do you believe is integral to the work of an artist/creative, in any discipline?
I think it’s important to be curious and questioning in your work and to have something to say, perhaps most importantly you have to allow yourself to take risks which means making things that sometimes fail. Being creative is integral to people in general, not just artists, and should be a part of everyone's life.
What 3 words best describe your CSM Short Course experience?
Enabling. Exciting. Informative.