Graduates 2023: Maxine Hunt: MA Inclusive Arts Practice

“Be sure to choose the right postgraduate course – be Brave, it might be something very different than what you think!”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

This artwork is influenced by my daily walks in and around Malling Nature reserve in Lewes and the research I have done as part of this course into the potential to re-connect or awaken an individual’s creativity by walking and making in a natural environment.

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

As a primary school teacher with forest school training and a background in the arts I became aware of the benefits of being outdoors and how it helped children and adults to not only relax but to express themselves more freely in different ways.  While working at a local school very close to the nature reserve I took a class of 32 children on a trip to the reserve, only 4 from a class of 32 had ever visited before-with one child stating her fear of going up there as she might fall off!

I was interested in why so many children were not familiar with such a beautiful and easily accessible part of the Southdown National Park on their doorstep, I realized that they were of an age where they relied on their parents to take them.

There are many physical barriers to being able to access potentially beneficial places and the experiences they provide, not least time and money but there are also internal ones. Combining those with a lack of knowledge of what is available or allowed will restrict inclusivity.

The MA in IAP connected my interests, skills, experience and knowledge giving me the confidence to develop my own creative practice, the academic rigor to carry out my own research and the foundations to take my ideas further to ensure inclusivity is at the forefront of what I do from now on.


What were the highlights of the course for you?

*Working with fellow students from interesting and varied backgrounds and sharing our experiences and ideas to support our own and each other’s learning.

*Working alongside the CCA Gallery staff with groups of adults with learning and physical disabilities and seeing firsthand just how important and beneficial access to high quality art is and the impact it can have on those who are often excluded.

*Talks from previous IAP students sharing what they are doing now as well as encouragement for our ideas and research projects.

*1-2-1 tutorials or small group tutorials that really supported and encouraged us to explore our own creative selves.

*Visit from professionals in the field and other IAP students from other countries.


Was the location of your course in Brighton important?

It was close to home which made it accessible and affordable as well as making it possible to place my research project in my local community.


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

I am planning to repeat and expand my research project and have received excellent and professional support from BeePurple to help with funding applications and business planning.


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

Be realistic about the amount of time you can devote to it and put things in place so that you can make the most of it.

Be sure to choose the right postgraduate course – be Brave, it might be something very different than what you think!

Don’t be put off by;

Being too old (I was 59 when I started)

Having not studied for a while (It was 30yrs ago I did my first degree)


Instagram:    maxine.hunt.758

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