What are your hobbies/interests?
I did the first year of a BA Media and Communications degree at Goldsmiths 2015-16, fresh out of my A-Levels. I was set on being a journalist and worked incredibly hard to gain a place at Goldsmiths but realised it just wasn't working for me in my last term. I did a 'Media Arts' module for which I created a textile artefact which concreted my beliefs that this course wasn't for me, and perhaps I should take a year out to try and work out what it actually was that I wanted to do. Over that summer back in Devon I started to explore my textile work further and I truly woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to reinvigorate the creative side of me ignited through my Arts Award and the National Art and Design Saturday Club.
I interviewed for my Fine Art Foundation course and have recently completed it. It's one of the best things I have ever done for myself and, in September, I'll be studying for a BA Fine Art Sculpture degree at Wimbledon College of Arts. The Saturday Club and Arts Award gave me such a strong grounding in art and design practice, I may not have had the confidence to shake my life and career direction up so hugely if I hadn't done these two fantastic things. I often talk about the thread between journalism and fine art as communication, but in reality I seek to communicate, that is my interest. Whether I choose text or 3D or film or drawing to convey X is only relevant to how successfully I can communicate. Fine art gives me that freedom.
What's your best memory of being on the Youth Network Team?
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is such a highlight. From working as a team to problem solve to attending shows together it's not just an 'in the deep end' live events learning experience, or a great opportunity as a young writer, it's the best fun. I suppose that's a microcosm of the Youth Network as a whole; we are, first and foremost, a team. The experience and the laughter happens along the way.
Have you seen any cultural events recently?
I live by the seaside, so there's live music on which is lovely. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter has an excellent exhibition on sea life on at the moment too, it's so interesting and engaging for all ages, with children's play equipment alongside the collection. I've also recently completed my Foundation Diploma in preparation for my degree, and it's just amazing to see such diverse work come out of one studio, specialism and course.
What's your piece in the exhibit?
I was looking at greed, driven primarily by the current political climate and used film, sculpture and photography to re-present the malevolent ubiquity of the subject, both personally and politically. I'm so incredibly proud of what I created.
It's especially difficult as a creative to judge the success of your work but I achieved what I set out to and overcame so many logical challenges too. Doing my Arts Award all those years ago has given me experience in practical planning for events and showcases that I never would've had in mainstream education.
What advice would you give to young people completing their award?
Push yourself! And let everyone else push you. No doubt, it'll make you a better artist/whatever you want to be. Learning through mistakes in a team is a better way of learning rather than muddling through alone.
There are some 'rules' that my lecturer gave to all the students earlier on in the year, and I cannot beat them:
RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.
RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.
RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.
RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined — this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.
RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
RULE EIGHT: Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.
RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.
RULE TEN: "We're breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities." (John Cage)
HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.