Graduates 2023: Emma Scott-Child: MA Fine Art

“The opportunity to exhibit in the university galleries and space has been wonderful. Seeing art in the context of a public space adds a new dimension to it.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

My work is an exploration into grief and loss seeking to find out why we turn to objects of memorial. I have especially been drawn to flowers and the role they play in funeral rituals as well as acting at transitional objects to hold emotion. I work mainly in sculpture and video but my research takes the form of photo essays, automatic drawing practices and cultural and scientific research. I like to draw parallels from nature to represent human responses to grief. It sounds very serious! But my work is actually quite joyful and colourful, celebrating life as well as death.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to you course and made you choose it?

I have always considered myself to be an artist but I got to the age of 40 and realised I hadn’t created any art for 20 years. I have worked as an art director and graphic designer for commercial clients and agencies but I wanted to do something where I was the client. I actually applied for the Textiles MA and did my first part-time year as a textiles student. As I grew into my practice I started to work with different materials in a conceptual way that stretched beyond textiles, so Fine Art was a better fit for my work.


What were the highlights of the course for you?

The opportunity to exhibit in the university galleries and space has been wonderful. Seeing art in the context of a public space adds a new dimension to it. Also meeting people who are like-minded and from all sorts of different backgrounds has been brilliant. I am constantly inspired by the fellow students and tutors.


Was the location of your course in Brighton important?

Yes, I live in Brighton and run my own business as well so I needed to be close to that but I was really lucky to have a great art school right here in the city.


What are your plans after graduation? What’s next for you?

I hope to be able to show my work in more galleries and apply for residencies. I have met a wonderful network of people during the course and we hope to organise some more group shows. I have also collaborated with performers for my video works, hopefully these collaborations can take my work to more places and open up more video opportunities.


What advice would you give to someone considering doing postgraduate study?

I would say that at first it may seem daunting, in the beginning it can be tricky to know what to do and where to start. I was very used to having a brief to work to in my creative work so ‘the blank page’ can seem scary, but take your time and stay curious. Absorb as much visual research as you can and patterns will emerge, you’ll find something you love to delve into. I have no idea what I would end up with at the end of this process but I found something I really love.


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