The first thing we had to do this year was decide how to structure our new studios. The old Geography building had been completely renovated over the summer, finally physically establishing the arts as a worthy subject on campus. Before, the studios had been split across campus, with some spaces in old chemistry labs, and some in a small building for the arts. Now we have a magnificently imposing building serving as a hub for all the art subjects, with five floors. The studios now all have huge windows, a far cry from the previous lighting available in the basement rooms in Parkinson Building.

In my studio this emphasis on lighting meant that most of the walls were taken up by windows, and so the technicians built huge structures out of MDF in order to create artificial wall space. This created a snug space for each student, a corner in which to face and work. It works well for us as we’re all quite individual people it just helps us to work rather than cut us off from each other. However, a couple of weeks after we’d established our studio layout we did get some reactionary responses from the tutors who preferred us to have a more communal space, but the need for wall space meant we couldn’t compromise further.

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It took an entire day to paint my MDF corner, using about four coats of paint and getting it all over myself and most of my clothes. I’m glad most of my clothes are bargain buys.

The thing I find about studios is that while they allow you to focus entirely on your work without distractions and have a collaborative space where you can be inspired by other peoples’ work and productiveness, your space is necessarily limited by the sheer number of people around you, and self-consciousness can limit your output. My creativity easily evolves when I’m at home where I can watch television at a loud volume and drink tea while I work. This has meant that I’ve done most of my 2D work largely at home, and simply dropped it into the studio when I’ve worked on it as much as I can. Hopefully as I get further into the ideas of construction and 3D work I will be spending more time in the studio.

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