Enterprising Practice: Postgraduate Breakfast at CSM (28 May 2015)
(Film by Gareth Johnson)
Review by Marie James, PG from MA Innovation Management CSM 2014:
To kick-start CSM’s first series of degree shows, members of the UAL Postgraduate Community were invited to attend a breakfast at the CSM Fine Art Programme shows (including MA Fine Art, MA Art & Science and MA Photography) led by the postgraduates themselves. Cath Caldwell and Alex Schady hosted the event with the aim to showcase Fine Art students’ work, as well as their employable and enterprising skills, and to foster conversations about the various careers paths available to Fine Artists after they leave University.
We first had the opportunity to listen to a conversation between Fine Art Programme Leader Alex Schady and UAL Chair of Global Art and filmmaker Professor Isaac Julien,here they talked about the various career paths available to young artists after they leave University. We were then invited to have an exclusive tour of the shows led by the artists, during which we were invited to ask questions about their artistic practice, and the opportunities that were available to them to transform it into a career.
Here are some first-hand insights gleaned from the students and professors at the event, on what opportunities are available to young artists to transform their art into a career after graduation:
Alex Schady, Artist and Fine Art Programme Leader
“One thing artists are really good at is taking new things on and finding new ways to navigate the maze. Today for young artists graduating from CSM, it is crucial to be flexible and open enough to be able to spot, seize and catch the opportunities that are available to them, even if they don’t seem to be related to their practise in the first place. Some of these opportunities can be life-changing. But, they have to be open enough to go for them. This is why within the Art Programme we make sure to link with practitioners and organisations in the creative industries and beyond who will send us employment, projects or grant opportunities that we’ll then forward to our students”.
Professor Isaac Julien, Artist and UAL Chair of Global Art
“As a young postgraduate artist you have to make sure that your practice is aligned with some of the needs of the world. You have to be quite clear and strategic about your work. And you also have to make things work for yourself and make your own way through. When I graduated, with other graduates we formed a collective and a company to be able to sell our work and services as young artists. You have to be quite entrepreneurial and embrace a ‘Do It Yourself’ attitude.”
Jared Vaughan Davis, Artist and 2015 graduate of CSM MA Art & Science.
Jared also works as art director and project manager for various organisations in the creative industries and beyond: ‘The great thing with the MA Art and Science course at CSM is that you are encouraged to push the boundaries of your own artistic discipline. You need to be open to practices that are outside your normal scope, in order to develop with them links that did not exist before. Throughout the course you also have the opportunity to work on a number of industry-led projects and develop skills and contacts that will nurture your career after graduation.”
Samuel Ivan Roberts, Multi-media artist and MA Art & Science 2015 graduate.
Samuel has a background in cognitive neuroscience and abnormal psychology. He has had his own exhibitions at the Rag Factory, Truman brewery, Oxo Bargehouse and Chelsea Arts Club: “For my final project I have used a number of online platforms that are available to artists and people in general to crowd-source the materials that you can see in the exhibition. As artists, we have to harness the power of the crowds, ask people to collaborate, and make the most of the digital tools available to us that can support and enhance our practice”.
Tess Williams, Artist specialising in painting and MA Fine Art 2105 graduate.
Tess has exhibited widely across London at galleries including The Griffin Gallery, Studio 1.1, Schwartz Gallery and recently had a solo show at Chelsea College of Art. In 2014 Tess was chosen to be part of UK Young Artists: ‘Throughout the Masters, I understood the importance of being able to ‘put yourself out there’ as an artist, i.e. to go to a lot of events, talk to people about your work and ignite collaborations from there. The course has good links with the industry, and we are always presented with exciting opportunities like grants or collaborations on various projects. Also, with some other graduates from my year we are planning to set up a group to give each others feedback and work on projects together even after we finish University. We found that this collaborative practice is essential to develop our work”.
Hana Vojackov, Artist, CSM MA Photography 2015 graduate and winner of the Daniel Ford International Award for Innovation
Hana has been exhibiting her work in various exhibitions around the country and has taken part in artist residencies: “As an artist you have to be curious and open to new collaborations and ways of thinking. At CSM the building itself is just brilliant for that, as you have loads of opportunities to bump into other students, graduates, alumni and professionals with whom you may end up collaborating, or who will introduce you to other potential collaborators. I had some of my best encounters just by walking in the street at CSM or sitting in the canteen”.
Photo credit: Gareth Johnson & Marie James