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I often struggle for a title when writing a new post – but not today – it springs to mind immediately! I have been waking really early recently (like 3am) my mind is wide awake and whirring like crazy. I can often get myself back to sleep after an hour or so by thinking about beach holidays in Spain (not sure if the thought of them is relaxing or boring but it does the trick!).

It’s a very good morning to wake early tho – it’s the longest day so I know that I am not alone in my wakefulness. Myself, lots of birds revving up for the dawn chorus and a whole load of Druids are all enjoying this lovely early start. The Druids probably haven’t even had any sleep, unlike me and the birds. That’s one reason why I could never go to Stonehenge for the summer solstice – staying up all night waiting for a cloudy sunrise – I just couldn’t have stayed awake!

This morning however I realised that I shouldn’t lull myself back to sleep. There are actually some important thoughts going through my mind that I need to express. The degree show finished on Saturday and today I am going to take my work down and bring it all back to the studio. The whole build up to and the show itself has been an emotional roller coaster. There have also been a fair few moments that are akin to getting bashed around in the dodgems. In the Degree Show Guide Bob and Roberta Smith describes it as “ an incredible rite of passage” – I get that now. It’s been wonderful to get so close to the other students in my year and to feel the incredible support from the staff here. It all feels really good – this is being at the top of the roller-coaster.

But of course the dips come and go all the time – insecurity about work, concerns about what comes next and the sadness to think that we will be saying goodbye to each other and leaving this beautiful bubble.

Our tutor Alli Neal is also leaving to spend more time with her practice and we have had a couple of really lovely parties for her (we don’t do things by half in Hereford!). Summing up words to express my experiences with Alli as Head of Fine Art has really punctuated the feelings I have about moving on and establishing my own practice. She is a fantastic teacher, consistent and clear and we will all hang on her words of wisdom in attempting to move forward with our work.

At her second party quite a few past students came along and it was great to see them and ask them ‘what was it like for you?’ Feeling’s akin to grief were mooted – oh no – not sure if I can cope with this. So I started to talk about this with my peers and we are making plans to get a small group of us together for regular crits; and to continue to use Facebook as an immediate form of communication.

I have ideas roller-coasting around in my head as to what I plan to do next but that’s for another post – once I’m on ‘the other side’. This is my last post as student of Hereford College of Arts after almost two years of writing. This whole blogging experience has been really helpful to me in learning to express myself and to articulate ideas and to see myself and my work in a different light. I will return with a new blog quite soon.

– I haven’t been reading the blogs here for a few weeks so it’s great to be back and I’m looking forward to catching up –