Welcome to the MA Degree Show
Dr Conor Wilson
Course Leader, MA Ceramics
Postgraduate Coordinator, School of Art
We often talk of building resilience, of being able to live with uncertainty (even, occasionally, of ‘negative capability’), of failure and risk-taking. This year, these claims were tested in the crucible of the Covid Lockdown.
Some of our students took breaks in study and some soldiered on. All of those who continued have been incredibly inventive and managed to use the limits of their individual circumstances to their advantage. They adapted their production to suit the sites they were working in and the materials that were available. They found new ways of collaborating across disciplines. They documented brilliantly, both work in progress and finished work, and used this to disseminate their practices to new audiences.
We are very proud of the work these students have produced and of their attitude to learning in such difficult circumstances. Their self-motivation and engagement have been remarkable and their growing independence a joy to behold. We look forward to following their progress – they will doubtless go on to make their marks in the field. The country needs such open, curious, inventive and committed people.
Dr Andrea Medjesi-Jones
MA Fine Art Course Leader
This academic year was exceptional, and remarkable in so many ways. As an MA Fine Art Course Leader, I had to reconsider and readjust the established approaches to academic curriculum, teaching methods and the interactions with the students by the circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a teaching team, we were amazed by the support and the help we received from our students, and are grateful for the learning that happened as a result of our interactions. As our reality changed through online teaching and contactless support, we as a cohort and a community kept together. The students spurred each other on and found ways to not only deal with the changing circumstances but to excel at it. The challenges made the ambition grow, resulting in one of the best MA Fine Art graduating shows in my career as an academic.
The MA Fine Art teaching team is beyond proud of our students’ achievements, and the inventive and proactive ways of dealing with the precarious nature of our reality. This is noted in the critical and visually compelling content of their work, and the variety of practices that are relevant and contemporary to the times we live in.
Perhaps because and in spite of the pandemic, the human spirit and inventiveness prevailed. I believe the students will agree with me, that the reason for making art is to find humanity and to confirm our individual roles in it. The MA Fine Art 2020 graduating students certainly looked for it, and I can safely say they all found their own way and a place. We wish them good luck for a bright future, and many successes on the way.