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Showcase 2022 Student Spotlight: James Mellor

Student Spotlight featuring BA (Hons) Fine Art student, James Mellor

James Mellor, BA (Hons) Fine Art

My focus is on Mix Media, and I always try and experiment with new stuff.

Can you tell us about your final project?

It's all about my mental health state during lockdown and isolation and global events, how people dealt with it, and I used art.

I've always been fascinated by characters and identity and by using depression and anxiety to reduce stress with these sculptures and wire installations. It’s how you adapt and how limited you can use the materials in the process.

What inspired your work?

I always had issues with being bullied because of my stutter. I was never good with exams because it’s all about remembering and I am just not into that stuff, but I’ve always been fascinated with films and characters and how you can relate to them. I’m not interested in perfection; I like flaws and how people use those flaws to grow as a person.

Tell us about your creative process…

During my first and second year, I didn’t really know what to do. I just started with liking clowns but when lockdown happened, I didn’t have a studio and so I looked into how I could work with the limitations.  I started working with recycled materials such as cardboard, wire and materials which haven’t been used for much and so I wanted to explore that and see how that develops.

What has your time at NTU been like and what skills have you developed?

Overall, my experience has been good, I would recommend to anyone thinking about Uni, that it is independent, they are not going to hold your hand - you must have the drive and motivation and the passion to do it.

Have you collaborated with anyone during your time here at NTU?

I took every opportunity I could in my final year. I worked with Nottingham Contemporary, where we designed a book with photographers and graphic designers. There were only two of us from Fine Art.  I did a project with the Surface gallery which was perfect for what I was doing in my final project and how I adapted to other people’s work which was quite fascinating. I also worked on the Backlit mental health programme which was also working with University of Nottingham students.

What do you think of the school community?

Overall, it’s the best part of the subject. Everyone is friendly and social. I’m mostly confident talking to people but I think at the beginning some people were quite shy. I would say just go for it and the more confidence you have, the better it will be to build these relationships. I loved working with the Surface Gallery and the University of Nottingham, and I would like to work with the again and see where we can go with our practice.

What has been your most memorable moment at NTU?

I would say exploring and experimentation. I would recommend doing what you love doing and don’t let people stop you but just take some constructive criticism from them.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying your course at NTU?

It is independent. If you are thinking of doing this course, make sure it is what you want to do. There are some good times but there are some low times, and when people say ‘its just fine art’ – it’s so much more than that.