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It takes time for experiences to settle and to become truly a part of your existence; your modus operandi. Studying for my BA and then MA was a gruelling, exciting time. Just getting through it seemed to take up all my energy. There were many high points as well as some dreadful lows. Self-doubt dominated much of the course but somehow I got to the finishing line. Apart from the obvious benefit of meeting so many interesting people, I have the wonderful legacy of retaining several really good new friends, most of whom will, I’m sure, remain friends for the rest of my life. That alone is a huge bonus.

But what of the actual stuff I learnt? Much harder to pin down. Having been passionate about art all my life, there was much I had already come across but having to pick this rag-bag of knowledge apart and to apply a critical, analytical direction to my perception of that knowledge has altered forever, my approach to the subject. And consequently to my personal art practice.

I think I’ve gained confidence (at last) in my judgment of both my own art and the art that I look at in galleries.I know I will never achieve the goals I see in my mind but I feel a fresh urgency to pursue and to expand those goals.