Inside

Julie Roch-Cuerrier

MA Printmaking, 2012–15

I did my BFA at Concordia University in Montreal and then moved to London for a semester programme in Art Business at Sotheby’s. While I was there, I came to a Royal College of Art open day, but it was only a year later that I felt ready to apply to the MA programme. When I attended the open day, I didn’t think it was realistic for me to be solely an artist, but then a lot of things happened. I completed my studies at Sotheby’s and came back to Montreal. I had a few exhibitions and met the owners of an art gallery in Montreal who offered to represent me. They were really interested by my work and what I had to say. This was a turning point for me. They gave me the confidence I lacked a year earlier when I came to the open day. I felt I was ready to apply for the MA.

When I looked at different graduate schools, I felt the MA at the RCA was the one for me. It gave me the opportunity to study with the most talented students from around the world and to study in one of the most inspiring and vibrant cities. I was looking forward to being somewhere critical and engaging. I knew it was going to be hard but I also knew my work would benefit so much from it. 

Before starting, I didn’t have an extensive knowledge of traditional printmaking techniques. I decided to apply to the Print programme because I was interested in the cultural implications of making printed images and in the contemporary critical issues that arise from printed artwork. Looking at the work from recent RCA graduates, it felt like Print students came from a broad range of backgrounds and had really diverse practices. For me, the programme meant freedom, inspiration and challenge.      

I think the workshop is one of the central elements of the Print experience. Sharing this working space with the other students allows for collaboration and fosters creativity. The facilities and the technical support gave me the keys to develop my work and realise my ambitions.

Installing the final show was definitely the most memorable and challenging experience of my time at the RCA. It’s an experience that requires commitment and perseverance but life-long relationships and unexpected opportunities that arise from the show make it worth all the energy and time invested.

I gained a lot of confidence over my two years at the RCA. I found a way forward and a balance in my work, which gave me faith in my own ideas. I also grew on a more personal level with the experience of putting up the final show and by participating in exhibitions and residencies beyond college.

Since graduation, I have mostly been planning and organising upcoming exhibitions. I was selected for a number of opportunities in the months following graduation including the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery, a solo show in Canada and the 2015 StartPoint Prize for which I will be travelling across Europe over the next year.

Before coming to the RCA, I had the independence and the motivation needed to define my goals, but I needed the MA to turn my ideas into a clear vision and to understand my strengths and weaknesses. I believe the RCA helped me find my own voice and gave me the confidence and the skills necessary to pursue my artistic career.
"Before coming to the RCA, I had the independence and the motivation needed to define my goals, but I needed the MA to turn my ideas into a clear vision and to understand my strengths and weaknesses. "
Julie Roch Cuerrier
Julie Roch Cuerrier