Where did you study before the RCA?
I came to the Royal College of Art from a BA in Painting at Camberwell College of Arts, London.
Why did you decide to study here?
I decided to apply to study Sculpture at the RCA after speaking to friends who were studying at various institutions across London. The feedback from friends at the RCA was always overwhelmingly positive. After talking to different people about the Sculpture programme here, I visited the studios and saw that the students had good spaces and amazing facilities to support their work.
I thought that the number of crits and tutorials were impressive, and liked that the year group sizes were fairly small, which would mean that interesting conversations could take place, and a sense of community could develop. The programme was also more affordable than other places I was considering.
What have you found most rewarding so far?
I have found the long, one-to-one discussions with both students and staff to be one of the most rewarding parts of my experience at the RCA so far.
What is the mix of students like?
Everybody here is very ambitious and driven. While most people on my programme have a similar creative art or design background, the age-range is very wide: people have come to the programme from all different points in their careers.
How has your work changed or developed?
The confidence that I have in my own work has grown since arriving at the RCA. I have found that things that used to sit just beneath the surface of my work are now much more visible, much more exposed. I have a stronger belief in my practice and a new sense of urgency. I am more honest in my work now, and able to admit what inspires me, and the type of work I want to make.
How is the programme structured?
The Sculpture programme here is structured around ‘sessions’ – short crits that happen regularly in the studio’s project space with a mixture of staff and students – as well as regular group crits that happen within the programme, or cross-programme. I have a personal tutor who I meet twice a term, and I meet another Sculpture tutor once a term for an additional tutorial. On top of this, there are many opportunities to sign up for sessions with external visiting lecturers, artists and curators. This autumn term I will have had six tutorials in total.
What challenges have you faced?
The challenges that I have faced while at the RCA have been largely financial. I have a part-time job to support myself through my studies. This means that I regularly have to cut short my time in the studio and rush across to Greenwich for evening shifts in a library. Before starting the programme, I took out a £10,000 Professional Career Development Loan to cover most of my fees. I know that I could only have done my MA somewhere where I could receive bursaries and additional help.
What’s coming up this year?
I’m really excited about the year ahead. Recently, I was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize, which means that I will be exhibiting my work at PinchukArtCentre in Kiev between February and April 2017. The exhibition of shortlisted artists will then be installed at the Venice Biennale in May. Following that, I have the RCA degree show in June, and in September I have a show in Vancouver in response to a residency I undertook this year on a container ship travelling from Vancouver and Shanghai, across the Pacific Ocean.