BA (Hons) Fine Art, Manchester School of Art

“When I arrived at Manchester School of Art I had a very commercial and narrow understanding of what an artist does, but the tutors, artist talks and programme here taught me alternative ways of being an artist. The safe space of the school provided the opportunity to make mistakes and figure out what I don’t want to be. In so doing, my approach to art became much more in-depth and critical.

For the degree show, I’m making small-scale oil paintings which are inspired by the aesthetics of diagrams, vintage illustrations and manuals. My works depict catastrophic tests and games with a failed cartoonist sense to them, and I’m very much engaged with political and historical subjects.

I see the show as a protected space to test how my latest studies sit in a wider context in relation to the works of my classmates. But also, I’m looking forward to the reaction and perception of the audience.

I personally think of the degree show as a way of coming to a solid conclusion regarding what I’ve been doing for the past three years. In other words, what I’m presenting clarifies my expectations and goals in my art career, which defines who I am now.

I have an interview with the Royal Academy and have applied for a few other places for post-graduation, but I’m also developing works for projects outside university. I’m booked for a solo show with a brand-new gallery in Monte Carlo and I have upcoming group shows and auctions with an art platform in Dubai.

I’m going to continue as an artist.”

Degree show: 7-19 June. www.degreeshow.mmu.ac.uk/2018/ Images: Parham Salimy’s studio

Interview by Jack Hutchinson


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