We put our questions to BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design alumna, Grace Mortlock, who discusses life after AUB, working on the 2012 Olympics, and her current projects.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently studying for a Masters in Textiles. I work creatively teaching and sharing my passion for the creative arts, which I love. I work with local schools running workshops, as well as running workshops for adults with disabilities. Last summer, I took part in some local festivals organising fun and creative drop-in sessions.
Tell us about your career journey since graduating from AUB
I decided, after graduating from AUB, to complete a PGCE specialising in Primary Art. I also worked as a Special Needs teacher. However, after two intense years, I decided to search for something more creative and develop my own artistic practice. I continue to love working and teaching creatively, and now I’m searching for a career vocation that ticks all the correct boxes.
Can you tell us about the work you’re most proud to have produced so far?
At the moment, I am researching about dyslexia and exploring my own struggles with the condition in my work. I have learned to love and express my unique way of learning, voicing my struggles with reading, writing and communicating through a creative practice. I am exhibiting my work this September and I’m very excited to see how I can develop this more, reaching out to those who also may struggle with dyslexia.
While at AUB, you had the opportunity to work on the costumes for the Weymouth Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics, how did you get to be part of this experience?
I was approached by my tutor, who put me forward to be part of the production. I had previously worked with a Special Needs school and this opportunity worked with a disabled theatre company. Therefore, my tutor thought I would be an ideal candidate.
What was your part in the whole process? How big were the team and who were they?
My role was Construction Manager and I managed the construction of 75 costumes. I also ran workshops welcoming actors, visitors and other students, and helped them get involved in the costume making process.
There were three of us, who made up the team: Kate was the Costume Designer, Lois was the Costume Supervisor and myself, the Costume Construction Manager. However, assisting us along the way was the 2nd Year Costume Designer, and lots of helping hands to make the costumes happen. It showed me that when you collaborate and work together, you really can achieve anything.
Can you share any key memories of this experience?
I have so many incredible memories, but the one key moment was just before the actors went on stage. We were sat in a big tent on Weymouth beach, and 75 incredible actors with different disabilities surrounded me. Everyone had worked so hard to get to this point, and now it was the waiting time before the main event. Heart rates were racing, hoping it would be a success.
Nothing will beat that experience – watching these incredible people, their energy, their passion, and their love for life. I remember feeling so proud of all the hard work my team and I had put in.
Finally, what’s your advice for the next generation of creatives?
Do not quit! You will find your voice, your dream job, or whatever it is you want. You just have to keep going. Take every knock back, or wrong turn and allow it to make you stronger.
Find out more about the BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design course.