Graduates 2023: Amy Packwood: MA Craft

“The support from the technicians was incredible and the sense of community in the space is something I will miss very much.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

I use mask-making as a way to bring anything which is silly, bizarre or ridiculous into our everyday lives and environments. The contrast between the mundane and the fantastical is the driving force behind my practice; I want to see people at the pub chatting to a huge frog and I want to sit next to a fish-man on the bus. I view the creatures I create as entities with their own characters which I have to make to bring them into our world. I am currently working on making masks which are as close to 100% biodegradable as possible, experimenting with new materials and methods which will damage the environment as little as possible.

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

I graduated from Illustration BA(Hons) at Brighton in 2020, having spent the entire course making masks, puppets and sets. Once lockdown lifted I knew I wanted to go back to university and learn to make in a workshop, using industry standard materials and not just things I’d found in skips.

What were the highlights of the course for you?

The highlights of the course for me is the time spent in the workshops. The support from the technicians was incredible and the sense of community in the space is something I will miss very much.

Was the location of your course in Brighton important?

I moved to Brighton in 2017 and never really felt like leaving. It was great being able to study in a city I love and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the town’s art scene on a few really special occasions.

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

Whilst studying part time for my MA I have been working freelance in the prop design industry and I would love to keep going with this. I will definitely keep making masks.

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

The two years I’ve spent on the Craft Ma have been really special. I would love to do the whole course again and I would definitely recommend postgraduate study to anyone with a niche passion.

Images by: Šárka Navrátilík @sarka_navr.

Follow Amy on Instagram @amyjpackwood

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