Excitement, despair, confusion, and most of all, joy and gratitude for the opportunities that I was receiving. I was being stretched, challenged, supported, and appreciated for who I am.
I initially decided to join AUB when looking for a P/T MA course in Fine Art or Drawing. I was impressed by the opportunities and the support networks that the course provided.
Starting in September 2018, I was full of anticipation and then quickly overwhelmed by the amount of work and reading that was expected. Being a mature student and an Art Teacher for the past 30 years, I’d not studied since the mid-1980s, so this wasn’t surprising.
However, tutors were always there, and always patient and kind yet challenging in a way that made me want to search deep into what it was that made me tick, question myself, and experiment outside the box with my personal narratives.
I used media that I was unfamiliar with, including video, audio, and installation. Collaborating and making videos had a major impact on my practice. Pushing through the fear of doing it, I found the experience of collaboration rewarding for the opportunity to work outside my own limitations, creating a sense of excitement, and being accountable to someone else. I found the technological side of video and audio challenging, but I’ve learnt to ask for help from course technicians, who are incredibly supportive and knowledgeable. I want to take forward both video and collaboration, and have arranged three such collaborations for the foreseeable future.
I found a voice that’s stronger, more defined, more questioning and curious. The boundaries that I thought defined me have collapsed, allowing me to develop and grow with a research-based practice.
My love of drawing changed from figurative and representative, to being a far more immersive and meditative action, where I can unravel ideas, sensations, and feelings freely. Drawing is important to my practice, and I intend to research this area more.
I’ve made connections and friendships that I treasure – people of all ages, that are rooted in creative development and are open minded, expansive, and generous in their thinking. AUB is a family of like-minded individuals who enjoy debate, are not frightened by different opinions and welcome engagement.
Trips to Oxford and Venice were fabulous. Lockdown could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for the constant conversations, workshops, talks and tutorials on Zoom, which gave very much needed support at a time of doubt and apprehension.
I’m leaving AUB with a sadness because I did not get the chance to say goodbye physically, but I know that I will see people again to continue a shared journey beyond MA.