Claire Prosser (Fine Art, 2011) writes about her art, the challenges after graduating and breaking down the boundaries of job titles:
“In 2011, I received a First Class Honours from the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at the Arts University at Bournemouth. This made me a pretty good fine artist- apparently. But I have always had trouble with the title ‘Artist’. I mean having a title is a difficult thing anyway. We are more than one thing. We are generally lots of things, but we don’t put a decathlon of activities as our job title on a CV. Ok, I may not have done a decathlon but I have done some triathlons since completing my degree, and coached running clubs and walked up the UK’s three tallest peaks in just short of 24 hours. Not many people put together an advocate for health and well being alongside being a fine artist. But I believe a sound body and mind, fit, focused and at ease with oneself makes for creative flow.
As a creative practitioner my work is informed by the broad platform of what it is ‘to be human.’ I think bodily, in how bodies can perform a feeling, a text, and a fact. I think bodily in how we process information, how our senses inform us. I think bodily in how we co-exist with other bodies, in a space, in a place, in time. I think bodily in how our actions cause reactions, how physical forces affect us. This is the premise of all that I think, write and make. With that platform supporting me, I tend to use people as my medium. This can be with community groups, schools or general members of the public. My work is mostly live and experiential. If it is not, then in the viewing, listening or watching there will always be an element of work, movement or interactivity present.
Since graduating I have exhibited performances in London, Portsmouth, Bath, Stroud and participatory events in Cardiff and Bournemouth. These opportunities have arisen through self-initiated projects and making connections with people. At the moment, solely working as a creative practitioner doesn’t pay so I have juggled jobs to support myself financially (so technically I could write you a list of ten or more titles!) I tried a ‘normal’ job. Two weeks in, my fingers twitched, sketchbooks came out, ideas got written and I realised, this is what I do, it is part of who I am. If I have to do it along side of something, then so be it. I will say to anyone graduating to be prepared for anything, but to always believe in what you do and why you do it. Surround yourself with green light thinkers, because the red light thinkers will get you nowhere.
I am writing this text in the comfort of one of the Fine Art offices at AUB. A place I only came to borrow equipment for tutorials when I studied here. Now I have a key fob, I’m in. In June 2013 I received an email from Senior Lecturer of Fine Art, Simon Granell, asking if I would be interested in being the Lead Artist for the annual second year Off Site project in 2014. It is a privilege to have been given the opportunity to be the person I thought was so iconic when taking on the project myself as a student in 2010. What was originally the Town Centre Lower Gardens Project, is now for the first year focusing solely on Boscombe. I am managing a group of selected students to exhibit in businesses, unused retail and outdoor spaces. Now that I am giving tutorials and advice, this role is a complete transition from studying here. Although, it goes without saying that just because I am swiveling in a comfy chair in the office, it doesn’t lessen the on-going encouragement I receive from all the staff at AUB.
As part of my residency here, I am making a piece of work for the group exhibition. What started as an interest in pedestrianism and human observation of ‘home,’ has turned into a cartographical project of mapping Boscombe; how do people move through and experience a space in which they live and work? I have learnt the journeys of Community Wardens, PCSO’s, Street Cleansing Champions and general members of the public. I have also walked with a lady from Bournemouth Society for the Blind, with whom I am planning a charity tandem bike ride in the summer.
I cannot determine where exactly my next stop is. I would like to take on a Masters in Arts, Health and Well Being in the University of South Wales. I know that I will continue to develop art projects, I will continue to need people, I will continue to perform, I will continue to apply for things relentlessly, I will continue to run, swim, cycle and walk until I cannot do so and I know that where ever I go, I will always have a welsh accent for someone to copy!”
Diolch am darllen.
Thank you for reading.