Graduates 2023: Martha Doyle: Visual Culture

“There is always a solution if anything goes wrong, but in the meantime I just go with the flow and think positively about myself and my work.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“From the start of my degree, I have held great fascination in the social aspect of art, how it can change the dynamic of a community. Ever since I was young, I frequently enjoyed visiting museums and learning so much about new objects or cultures I was unfamiliar with. However, this course has opened my eyes to a whole new side of these institutions, looking at the curation, selection and representation of cultures and objects.

I have recently finished my dissertation on exploring diasporic narratives of self-expression, looking at the visual culture of female Middle Eastern identities. It explores topics of exile, diaspora, migration and how these narratives are told through art. Shirin Neshat and Mona Hatoum are two contemporary artists that I focus on in my writing.

How have you found your course and what made you choose it?

Studying Visual Culture has been extremely eye opening which I think is very important. The beauty of the subject is that it is so broad in the topics it covers. It can range from the study of Romanticism to the East Asian Pop Culture Revolution, covering discussions around the past as well as contemporary subjects. This course was perfect for me as it included elements of different subjects I was interested in such as gender issues, globalization, social media, and much moreā€¦

Was the location of Brighton more important than you thought it would be?

Moving to Brighton was so exiting when I started my course, it really has lived up to my expectations of being such a vibrant and creative place. The creative scene has encouraged me to carry on with my hobbies alongside studying, such as illustration, which at points I have been able to incorporate into some of my work. The art shop at the Grand Parade campus will be a place I will really miss.

Did you do a placement? If so, could you tell us a bit about it?

For one of my option modules during second year I was allocated to work alongside the Mass Observation Archive, located at The Keep. During my time there I met such an amazing team who made me feel so welcome. I was lucky enough to be introduced to a range of roles such as conserving, sourcing materials, digitalizing and more. I was even able to incorporate my hobby of illustration when they asked me to draw something to commemorate their 85th anniversary, later publicised on their website and social media. I am still in contact with MO and am currently working on illustrating a banner for their online website.

What are your plans after graduation?

My plans after graduating are not set in stone but I certainly have a few ideas of what I would like to do! I will be moving back to where home is for me and hopefully travelling around Europe in the New Year. I would really like to get involved in museum engagement, especially with kids, helping them to understand these settings and what they involve. I have also been looking into internships with Hauser & Wirth which offer opportunities that focus on creating a dialogue between art, artists and diverse audiences with a focus on first-hand experience.

If you could give your 16-year-old self any advice about going to university, what would it be?

To be more confident in myself! I have found the hardest parts of university have been when I have doubted myself, so it is important to keep a positive outlook on things. There is always a solution if anything goes wrong, but in the meantime just go with the flow and think positively about myself and my work.

Follow Martha on Instagram @arti.martie

Find out more about BA(Hons) Art History and Visual Culture

Watch out for news about the Graduate Summer Show

Follow the Brighton Summer Shows on Instagram

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *