I am currently on my third year of the BA (Hons) Fine art course at the Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD), and as someone who enjoys changing up their working styles and materials often, it’s been extremely rewarding.
I see myself as multi-disciplinarian who is focused on studying the practice of fine art, and a fear of mine before starting the course was that I might’ve been restricted or confined to a certain medium.
However, now I’ve made it to my final academic year I’ve found the opposite to be true – the course has actually embraced my many different interests, and allowed my skills to blossom in lots of different areas.
For example, I found myself learning new methods of working through my Field modules during the first two years of the course, and in the technique-led workshops that run throughout the whole year.
These aspects of studying at CSAD have allowed me to learn skills that aren’t necessarily associated with the practice of Fine Art, but that have been extremely helpful to know. Adobe illustrator, laser cutting, heavy machine tool training, comic book design, body casting and augmented reality are just a few of the tools and techniques I’ve been able to experience. Some of these have directly influenced my practice – for example, I now have the skills to take on podium building, flat paintings, shaped paintings etc.
Field modules were also a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. They meant connecting with other students outside of the fine art course, and allowed collaboration work with a mix of disciplines which I found very refreshing.
It was also a way to start learning about networking – talking to a really wide range of creative individuals is vital for making contacts, and for getting my work shared. With so many opportunities spread across the course to collaborate, I’ve witnessed myself growing more confident. I’ve always been naturally very shy, but I believe that I’ve blossomed to the point that I can say I work well within a group, or even lead one if necessary.
Throughout my time spent here, the Fine Art tutors at CSAD have been such enthusiastic and friendly people. Not only that, but they are so open to new ways of working. As someone who enjoys exploring a wide range of media, I’ve found the tutors tremendously supportive of my experimental work.
Within my expressive journey my tutors have always encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone – I originally saw myself as a painter, producing portraits and occasionally working within the sculptural realm. With Fine Art at Cardiff Met I’ve been able to experiment and develop work through print making, ceramics, painting, performance, installations and more. I feel that with the freedom the course has allowed me, I’ve been able to create pieces in media I’d never have been comfortable with before.