June 13, 2019

Evie Banks

With my time studying Fine Art at Cardiff Met coming to an end, I find myself looking back and reminiscing on the past three years – thinking of all the memories and experiences that will stay with me for a lifetime.

Although there are many things I will miss about my course, I’ve tried to narrow it down and do a countdown of the top 5 things I will miss the most. Hopefully this will make it short and sweet and keep you interested – let the countdown begin!

5. The technicians and facilities

The range of facilities at Cardiff Met are second to none. I came to university not knowing exactly what speciality I wanted to work in, but knowing I wanted to try new things and not limit myself.

Luckily, Fine Art at Cardiff Met is such an open course that it allows for complete interdisciplinary exploration and freedom to self-direct your study. The range of workshops, materials and equipment provided across the school allowed me to explore new techniques in areas including printmaking, ceramics and woodwork to name just a few, until I found what it was that I loved to do.

Hand-in-hand with the facilities comes the technicians. Each has their own speciality, but all of them are absolutely fantastic. They are constantly on hand to help, and always with a smile on their faces. The technicians have always helped me achieve my goals in my art practice, no matter how last minute or bizarre the request!

4. Trips and opportunities

Throughout my degree, there have been numerous opportunities for me to travel, with trips to Amsterdam, Morocco, London and, more locally, Southerndown.

One trip that particularly stands out for me however was to Venice in my second year. We visited the Venice Biennale, which is undoubtedly the largest exhibition of international art I have ever seen in my life. Visiting Venice was a fantastic way to expand my art knowledge and draw inspiration that fed into my practice, with the added benefit of eating authentic Italian pizza and pasta every day for a week!

I also had the opportunity to travel to Scotland for a research trip to develop my practice after winning the Dulcie Mayne Stevens Bursary, one of several bursary awards open to Fine Art students.

I’ve had a fantastic time at Cardiff Met, and I’m really going to miss it here

3. Connections with the arts community

This point is a little different as it doesn’t come to an end with my degree, but the course is strongly connected the wider art community in Cardiff, and is a great introduction to it for students. The tutors arrange lectures with professionals from all over the industry to provide advice and opportunities for creative career paths past university.

There are plenty of galleries to integrate into as well, with opportunities to invigilate to gain valuable experience and provide venues for self-led exhibitions. I have had the chance to display my work in several exhibitions, which has benefited me significantly as it has helped me build up my artist profile. There is a real sense of community in Cardiff, which the Fine Art course is heavily a part of, and it has been really useful in setting me up for life past university.

2. The tutors

I came to university straight from sixth form with a passion for art, but unsure of my practice and what it was I wanted to explore. The Fine Art tutors have helped me discover my interests, by introducing me to artists, movements, and to new materials and techniques to help me develop my practice.

As practicing artists themselves, they are able to offer valuable insight and advice. With an open-door policy, the support they have provided me has been fantastic. I can’t count the amount of times they have calmed me down in my final year panic!

Not only have the tutors been supportive within university, but the support they have provided me and the other students has extended outside of it too, in our developments as artists. As part of your professional development as a Fine Art student, you set up your own exhibitions around Cardiff. Every time one of us hosted an exhibition this year, you could rely on the fact that the tutors would show up to support you.

1. The studio culture

There is so much I will miss, but what I will miss most is the sense of community I hold with my peers and tutors.

As a Fine Art student you spend the majority of your time in the studios, which means spending all your time and building strong friendships with your peers. In my third year I practically lived in my studio space, and if I could have installed a bed in it I would have!

The studios become a place filled with inspiration, fun, laughter, and the occasional tear! I will really miss getting to see everyone everyday, and the discussion of ideas and concepts for our art; but they are people I will stay in touch with, as each of our artistic careers take off!

I can honestly say that I have come out of university a stronger person, as I have grown and matured both in my art and in myself.

I highly recommend the course to anyone who has a passion for art and wants to explore and push what they think possible of themselves, as I know this was certainly the case for me.

Enjoy every moment of the degree as it has so much to offer – and trust me, at the end of it you won’t want to leave! Now my degree is over it’s onwards and upwards with my art and my career, and I want to take a moment to say a massive thank you to everyone on Fine Art at Cardiff Met for an unforgettable three years!

Check out work from Evie and many more of the Cardiff School of Art & Design class of 2019 in our #CSAD19 Summer Degree Show video: