John Kinross Scholar in 2010
Ashley Nieuweinhuizen, Specola, linocut, 2019
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
Peculiar, enchanting and grand. Living within the belly of Florence for six weeks affected the way I passed through places. Ditching the map, I would purposefully set out to get lost and in turn, discover new locations that weren’t highlighted in the travel guides. I did, however, keep La Specola, an observatory of zoology and natural history as a must see.
What was the impact on your practice?
Visiting Florence impacted on my choice of media, where previously preferring to work in printmaking and sculpture, I opted for the pencil. This gave me the option to realise works quickly which I could then refine later on and transport back home with ease.
With several visits to La Specola, I found my practice steered towards creating narratives within my work, inspired by the forged environment of each beast and the religious realms of the city.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
Now working as a teacher of Art and Design, I try to maintain my creative practice alongside my profession. Although this is not without its challenges, I am fortunate that my subject and the learners I teach keep me inspired. I still have links with the university of Dundee and continue to explore various materials that suits the theme of my work in practice. This has included working in pen as well as making a children’s book called The Paper Wolf.