John Kinross Scholar in 1996
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
As a working class graduate, I would not have had the opportunity to travel without the scholarship. I had never travelled anywhere on my own before, and it was my first time travelling by plane, so it was a fantastic opportunity and was very exciting and a bit daunting at the same time. I had the privilege to share a flat and mix with some of my fellow scholars and students from all over Europe.
The scholarship provided me with the opportunity to develop my confidence, life skills and self esteem as a practising artist beyond art school.
What was the impact on your practice?
My artwork is concerned with the industrial mining architecture and ancient landscape in which I have grown up. When I began sketching in Florence, the picturesque landscape, sculpture and architecture, one of the outcomes was that my painting became more narrative and less abstracted, I began to examine my story within the landscape, as a participant within it, rather than creating work from the perspective of an observer. In my current work I continue this development, mapping my connections to specific place, people, landscape and heritage.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
I think that the scholarship has really helped me to define my artistic practice ever since. I brought home the desire to tell my story, figuratively and specifically with my landscape, inspired in a way that I may never have been had I not been awarded the scholarship. I also made lifelong friends.