Graduates 2021: Brigita Litvinovic: History of Art and Design

This experience made me more independent, mature and confident!

Hi Brigita please tell us a bit about your work and influences 

I started thinking about my dissertation research during my second year of the course. At that time, I had so many ideas that I wanted to analyse and write about. Most of them were related to the topics that I studied and presented on during my first and second years. I remember attending a seminar where we were told to write down five topics as a potential dissertation topic. I wrote four already prepared topics and the last one was just two words: Edward Hopper. I did not know much about him as an artist nor something interesting about his artworks. I came across his oeuvre during one of the seminars where we were discussing the reading by Margaret Iversen called In the Blind Field: Hopper and the Uncanny. Somehow, that seminar and the reading caught my attention, and I wrote the artist’s name as a potential dissertation topic. Of course, I was not serious about it at that time. However, in the end, I decided to challenge myself and do my research on something new. This is how I wrote my dissertation called Edward Hopper: Curious Anomalies Behind the Life and Works of American Realist. I did not think that this topic would turn out to be so interesting and fruitful. I realised how wrong I was, once I started researching more about the artist, his life, artworks. My research was based on applying the biographical facts and the psychoanalytic approach to some of Hopper’s works of American life in the first half of the twentieth century to find some hidden messages. My goal was to show the reader how paintings that appear to be plain in reality speak the whole story about the artist and his inner world.

How have you found your course/time at Brighton?

I am an international student, so it was very terrifying for me to start my adult life somewhere far away from home. I came across many different articles writing that Brighton is a very diverse place right next to the beautiful beach and close to London. It caught my attention and I applied to study at the University of Brighton. I must admit, at first, it was not easy to get used to a new life abroad! However, the staff, students from my course, lecturers were extremely friendly and helpful. I enjoyed my time in Brighton. It is a very lively, diverse and beautiful town. This experience made me more independent, mature and confident! I am very proud of myself for managing to stay strong and complete my degree.

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study that subject?

I liked art at school, however, I am not a good painter! Another subject that interested me the most was history, so I was planning on studying history after school. One day, I came across a programme on art historians on TV. I saw this job as a perfect combination of my two favourite subjects. I did not hesitate any longer about what I wanted to study at university. Luckily, my parents were supportive of my choice and told me to follow my dream.

What are your plans after graduation?

I think about doing some kind of volunteering and working in the art history field to come across some new and exciting topics after graduation. Unfortunately, the whole COVID-19 situation made me lack motivation and inspiration. I also could not attend as many museums and art galleries as I wanted. I decided not to rush and did not apply for the Master’s degree. I might do it in the future when I find a proper topic for the research. At the moment, I just want to focus on myself.

Find out more about BA(Hons) History of Art and Design

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