John Kinross Scholar in 2002
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
The scholarship came at a significant time for me, sandwiched in between completing my BA at Grays’s School of Art and starting my MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. I had been apprehensive about moving to London and settling in at the Slade, but my time in Florence allowed me to grow in confidence and be more proactive about visiting galleries and making artwork from observation, without being under the wing of an art school.
What was the impact on your practice?
The use of gold leaf in the many altar paintings was something I loved and started to use in my practice. My time in Florence also reignited my interest in drawing on location and using sketchbooks, something that had largely disappeared from my work during my final year at Gray’s.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
As well as being a fantastic opportunity to experience a new city and culture, the scholarship allowed me to gain confidence and certainly benefitted me when I started at the Slade. I didn’t know it at the time, but on leaving the Slade I went
on to live in Italy for 2 years and the Kinross Scholarship was a great introduction
to the country.
I continue to use gold and copper leaf in my practice and always reference the altar paintings of Florence when asked about it’s use. From getting terrible sunburn as I sat on a bench drawing a the Duomo, to the numerous visits to the Uffizi, to the amazing people I shared my time with, it was an experience I will never forget and I’m hugely grateful to have been given the opportunity.