During Week 6 in our second year, we have a compulsory careers day in order to show us what careers we can go into, the routes we can take to get there and that it is also normal to not know what we want to do in the future, after our degree [which is two years away]. This time, however, comes quickly.
During this day, we had two talks from previous students of Reading University, to show these various routes that we can go down, and the confusion that they had when they were in our position.
Laura Prime went on from her BA into postgraduate courses, and into curation. There was a lot of research and applying to other courses, but this is just where life led her. Prime mentioned that the Masters has helped her to grow both academically and with her practice. Through the MA she was able to curate projects such as a masterclass retreat. During this a group of people were invited to participate in multiverses, philosophy talks, walks, and eating as a group.
Prime was then asked to showcase an LGBTQ+ archive exhibition, which travelled to several locations. Aside from this, she was also invited to curate a double page spread in a magazine along with other former Reading students. Here, she given several artists of whom she could look at, and then finally look at one in order to create a piece for an exhibition.
From this, Prime went on to work with sound, along with other artists. ‘Sound Field’ was something that she had never worked on before, especially in collaboration with others. For this, a catalogue was also produced, in which Prime was able to create an extract for, and also run a panel. Prime was also invited to talk about her dissertation and sound research to a room full of scientists.
Through all the networking, Prime was able to select artists for her own exhibition in the space that they gave her in the MA course. She was able to pick UK and Austrian artists such as Joey Holder and Paul Purgas [sound art] for the exhibition ‘Only Human’. Within this, she also picked out an author and a specific book which she helped write – he then read this in the forest as a video piece for the exhibition.
Life had a big turn around after this and Prime moved back home. Before, she had never thought about teaching, but went into her old middle school, and ended up loving the work. She is currently doing her PGCE at Reading University, where she has met people from various backgrounds. Through working in schools, she has been able to bring in new projects, including looking at artists such as Errow and creating a piece that had half of your face and half a face of a fictional character or celebrity.
Prime has also worked with Sue Mundy, a local ceramic artist, and run several after school clubs and community art classes. Through all of these expereinces, she has learned lots of new art skills including heat transfers, batik, textiles and lino printing, much of which she had never done before. Prime also helped out at the Tate Modern with the Tate Exchange this year.
Emily introduced herself with the work from her degree show, in which she collaborated with Emily Pope to look at feminism and the backlash of the internal dialogue in young women. Straight after her degree, Emily worked as a visual stylist in London, putting installed displayed together and putting together window curation. She soon found that this wasn’t her thing and moved back home to work in Plymouth School of Art as Student Support. This move helped Emily decide which route she wished to go down.
She then began initial courses in counselling studies and began volunteering in this area. A Masters in Art Psychotherapy is where this led her, but after one term she admitted that she did not particularly enjoy this. This was due to the fact that she wasn’t training in the way that she wanted to, in order to become a counsellor. This led her back to counselling at Reading College, but the eventual goal is to move this back to Devon and put her theory into practice.
The key skills that Emily feels that she has developed, especially through her degree are; time management, organisation, self-motivation and adaptability. These skills have helped throughout the experiences after university. In Plymouth, she found that everyone approaches artwork and engages with art making that benefits the person going through their difficulties and issues. This highlighted Emily’s passion about creative approaches in helping people.
Emily also found that volunteering engagements in primary schools, community projects and through working with adolescents and adults with complex needs have enabled Emily to grow her necessary skills. As well as these, she has attended free lectures on mental health and art. She also found that the MA allowed her to engage with materials, not being too constrained or confined, as it is about living the work and feeling it, not analysing it. This also opened her up to a variety of approaches in creative therapy including drawing with your eyes closed and touching your face.
Emily has decided not to specialise in art therapy, but it is something that she would bring into her therapies.