John Kinross Scholar in 1998
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
I went to Florence at the end of a traumatic year. In the summer before I started my final year at Duncan of Jordanstone College my mother died, and one month later my long term relationship ended. Working towards my degree was the thing that kept me going. In Florence I unwound, made fabulous new friends, and relished everything about being in such a beautiful city, surrounded by some of the world’s greatest artworks. I came home inspired, and ready to move on. It was a wonderful experience which came at just the right time for me and I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to take part.
What was the impact on your practice?
I did more drawing in Florence than I had done for a long time, spending a lot of time in life drawing classes and sketching in the city. Although I graduated in sculpture, I didn’t make any three dimensional work. On my return to Scotland I did a photo-litho course to work on images I had made in Florence, so the range of my practice was immediately increased.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
I think that winning the scholarship and spending time in Florence directly after graduation boosted my confidence about embarking on a career as an artist. My practice is much more wide ranging than I ever imagined it would be. I learnt that there is no harm in asking, and got free passes for RSA Kinross Scholars to the museums and galleries. It all helped to make me believe in myself as an artist.