John Kinross Scholar in 2015
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
Leaving for Florence shortly after degree show, with all the public scrutiny that this entailed, the John Kinross Scholarship facilitated a period of reflection and recalibration. Outwith the context of an institution for the first time, I was forced to consider what I felt to be worthy of my attention as an artist, resulting in a considerable change in focus. The John Kinross Scholarship made me more resilient, which I feel to be vital in sustaining a practice as an artist long term.
What was the impact on your practice?
In Florence, I started to draw from observation, spending significant periods of time in the English Cemetery at Piazzale Donatello and San Miniato al Monte. Drawings made whilst in Florence were an important part of my application to attend the ‘The Drawing Year’ at the Royal Drawing School. Working from observation has made me a far more versatile as an artist: more willing to take chances and push my work into unfamiliar territory.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
After Florence, | spent time in Perugia at an Italian language school and then travelled throughout the Italian mainland, together with other John Kinross recipients. Not only did I make several good friends in Italy, but this experience proved to be invaluable since I now work part time for Art History Abroad, leading young people on tours of Italian museums and cultural monuments.
With regard to my practice as an artist, I began to see myself as part of a far longer continuum than I had previously considered: early Renaissance artists like Masaccio, Domenico Veneziano and Fra Angelico have became important influences on the way that I constructed space in my work. For me, the John Kinross Scholarship was the start of a completely different approach to art making.