I studied an Art and Design Foundation Diploma at Central Saint Martins. I then gained a place on Criticism Communication and Curation BA at CSM but decided to apply for Photography BA(Hons) at the University of Brighton to further my experience and continue my practice as an artist. I felt if I were to pursue a career in curation or arts journalism I had to draw from my personal experiences and of that of others.
I have always been an active student and enjoyed learning. Education is very important to me and I would like to continue to further my studies throughout my lifetime and am looking into undertaking an Exhibition Studies MA.
I had lived in London all of my life and I wanted to experience an education outside of the cultural capital. They call Brighton ‘Little London by the sea’ and this is what appealed to me - I knew it would push my work in another direction, but still keep me linked to the industry and contacts in London.
It is important when studying a photography degree that you are visually inspired by your surroundings, as you can see from my degree show work, the sea has become a stage for my conceptual practice. I am drawn to the sea as a place of contemplation and in that manner I compare it to works of art.
I knew the BA(Hons) Photography course at Brighton would be heavily based on theory and deeply routed in a conceptual framework. These attributes suited me perfectly as I wanted to use photography as a way to record or convey concepts. It offered me the opportunity to grow as an artist without feeling pressured to become a photographer. The course offers some of the best tutors for this area of study; it is world renowned and recognized as an institution of excellence. If you are interested in using the photographic medium to produce art then this course allows you the freedom to explore your own practice.
As this course is heavily self-motivated a typical day could consist of researching projects, attending lectures or carrying out admin tasks to organize shoots. On the day of a shoot you would collect your equipment and travel to your location, often spending hours in one place you would only return once you had that feeling you got the images you came for. Each day on this course is an adventure and an opportunity to meet new people. You choose what your project explores and that is the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night. The great challenge for me was learning to shoot on film - I had never studied photography before entering the course. It just shows you what you can achieve in three years.
As for highlights, the highlight of any art degree course is to contribute to the final degree show - the accumulation of three years of hard work is a celebration and platform for all of the course participants. I felt honoured to be a part of the course and very proud of the show.
Following graduation I'm completing a year of internships in a range of art related roles. I also hope to continue to produce my own work and promote it to galleries and art buyers. In the future I hope to complete an MA and become a curator/arts journalist.
Paula May Evans 2011