Professional Practice: MRes

On completion of the M.A. in Painting at Wimbledon College (UAL), I am pursuing the full-time Master of Research degree at the Royal College of Art. I believe the M.Res in Fine Art will engage both my interests and strengths – academic research and painting. I established this dual focus whilst reading history at Cambridge, where I continued my passion for painting by founding Trinity College Fine Art Society, and was President for two years. I was then fortunate enough to be awarded a Thriplow Scholarship for the M.A. painting course, where I have followed a line of enquiry that has proved to be both rich and deep. It is this line of research, looking into medieval discrimination, especially its representations, and its relevance in a contemporary art setting, that I intend continuing. I am thus honing a line of academic research and painting enquiry that I would like to explore at Ph.D level. Whether I do this at an art-based establishment or at Cambridge I do not yet know, for it depends entirely on where my interests and painting take me this coming year. The RCA M.Res takes two examinable forms – a dissertation, or a shorter dissertation and a work of art. I hope to opt for the latter, but it is determined on the material I amass, my interpretation of it, and how best to present it. Either way, I will continue to paint!

 

When one thinks of the medieval period, one is drawn to images of suffering and superstition, where life was so distressing there had to be a god, and where religious dissent was viewed as a gangrenous necrosis. I want to capture the medieval experience in form and colour, or word, or both, whilst adapting and applying it to contemporary issues. I have also become acutely aware of minority group isolation in that period and how such social ostracism was portrayed bluntly in artworks of the time. Non-Christians, for example, were especially vulnerable to being depicted through art as monsters, demons, or freaks of nature. My current arts’ practice is sympathetic to the oppressed, and is intended to expose institutional hypocrisy and cruelty, especially by those supposed to encapsulate goodness and equality.

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