Graduates 2022: Jennifer Davis: Fine Art MA

“There have been so many perks to this course, I have surprisingly enjoyed aspects of it that I didn’t think I would, such as creating a presentation to discuss my practice. This was at first a worry for me but after talking to an audience about my work I felt confident about my presentation and public speaking skills that I may need in the future!”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“The work that I create is a spectacle and has to have a visceral impact on the viewer. I am an artist who creates through the act of making and the transformative process of painting. My work is an extension of self, discussing ideas and conversation in a humorous and ambiguous way. It is very personal however it serves as an open conversation between myself, the material and the viewer.

“I am currently exploring topics that interest me, the idea of pop culture and the female voice in contemporary society. It is important to me to create a dialogue between myself and the world I am exposed to. Reading and keeping up to date with popular culture allows me to keep this consistent discussion, which often entwines itself with events from the past.; in particular voices and stories based around women, whether it’s spoken directly from the individual or revisits history from the perspective of others.

“This has been informed by past processes, and creates drama and narratives from the things that are in front of me and from my own viewpoint. It is often a projection of my feelings and current state onto inanimate things. The use of drawing allows me to take control of the transformative and manipulate form, colour, shape, using distortion and repetition. The act of repetition becomes a memory, the subject becomes more ambiguous, less obvious, detached from reality and more attached to my body, self and mind. The use of small inner monologues and the act of writing that down gives a personal context whilst remaining ambiguous to others.”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

“I started the MA course in September 2020, after completing my BA in Fine Art Painting at the University of Brighton. Due to COVID cutting my BA short, it felt like the next best step to continue with my studies and refine my practice through research and making in the studios. Unfortunately COVID lockdown struck again, so I made the choice to take a year out. I rejoined the course this year 2022 and found myself welcomed back by the tutors and the new course members. I was glad to be back on the Full time MA course as it meant I regained access to a studio as well as frequent tutorials and crits with the tutors. I have found this course to be very important to the development of my practice. It’s allowed me to bring my ideas to life through painting as well as getting the experience of putting on shows to the public, as our BA show was never a physical exhibition.

“We were given opportunities such as having an open studio week, as well as putting on a group show mid-year. I found this experience significant as I was working with others to create and curate a show within a space and had a group crit with the rest of the students which gave me the confidence to speak freely about my work and listen to the viewer’s perspective. There have been so many perks to this course, I have surprisingly enjoyed aspects of it that I didn’t think I would, such as creating a presentation to discuss my practice. This was at first a worry for me but after talking to an audience about my work I felt confident about my presentation and public speaking skills that I may need in the future! Lastly, putting on the final show has been a joy! Being able to curate and see my work outside of the studios as well as my peers… I am looking forward to the opening of this Grand Parade!”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Fine Art?

“After completing the BA I was at a bit of a loss, as we had an anticlimax of a year. I still felt that I had unfinished business from the undergraduate degree. I initially chose Fine Art back when I was 18 straight after school. I knew it was a course I wanted to do as it’s a course that gives you great freedom to explore yourself as well as giving you skills for the future. I have always been someone who expresses myself as an individual so it felt right to choose a course that enabled me to do so without too many boundaries. I wanted to stay in Brighton as I’d made myself home here, so choosing to continue my studies further in Fine Art here seemed to be the best option. Where my BA was a Painting specialist course, the MA is a more varied course and it interested me to extend myself beyond painting, whether this was through writing or other materials.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“After I graduate I plan to continue living in Brighton and eventually finding a studio space I can carry on painting and making work in. I have recently applied to the ACS Studio Prize, which could give me the chance to gain funding for a studio for a year… fingers crossed. In the future I’m also planning to put on my own shows to give me experience outside of university. I have interests in both having a solo show as well as group shows with peers that I have met from the course! Nothing is in plan yet but I’ll see where life takes me!”

Instagram @jenniferdavis_

Find out more about Fine Art MA

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