Drawing Year 2019
BA American Studies (Literature and History), University of Kent
The Drawing Year was my first introduction into academic visual arts since secondary school. Having studied Literature and History at degree level, the course was a unique experience for me. As someone more accustomed to independent study I think the most significant difference between this course of study and my BA was the community of peers; the regular group critiques, shared studio spaces and exhibitions. Although I enjoy working independently, I am glad to have got to know the different perspectives of the other 29 artists over the course of the year who all came from different backgrounds.
I tend to build projects with a narrative focus that respond to a particular moment or event in time. Over the year I was researching and producing work that explored the intersection of African, Caribbean and global cultures. The Drawing Year programme leaned more in the direction of European art history, which meant that I had to maintain a personal commitment to my own research and interests in order to create work that made sense to me. However, this only reiterated the importance of trying new things and listening to different perspectives, whilst trusting my own instincts in making authentic work. Life drawing with Dilip Sur was the most influential to my practice. By now it feels like drawing human figures in hundreds of positions every week has written anatomy into my subconscious.
In a nutshell, The Drawing Year afforded me the opportunity to make some great friends and future collaborators, to complete a strong body of work, attend an international residency in Italy, present and sell work at Christie's and it has allowed me to continue making work over the next year through the Denis Mahon Award. The plan is to make more art in as many forms as possible…