Course studied: BA (Hons) Decorative Arts
I would recommend studying at NTU to anyone, because it’s difficult to find a university with a good reputation and a wide variety of facilities that also offers you creative freedom.
More about Alessandra
What made you choose to study at NTU?
"I chose NTU mainly because of its facilities and good reputation. I haven’t seen many universities with such a wide variety of workshops, studios, theatres, and even a gallery! Another reason was the freedom that you get on the course. Also, the educational system allows me to be free to develop myself as I choose, not as I’m told."
What do you enjoy most about your course?
"What I most enjoy about my course is the opportunity I get to learn new techniques and get feedback from the tutors and technicians about my projects. Most of them are artists, so I can ask for advice not only about my work, but also about being an independent artist. I try to spend most of my time in the workshops, developing the techniques that I learn every week. I really enjoy the fact that I’m taught in a wide variety of materials, thanks to that I can be a versatile artist and having learnt the rules, I can break them and make some interesting work’’
Can you tell us more about your involvement with Collabor-8 Collective at Nottingham Contemporary?
“As a member, I help to organise and participate in closing parties for the exhibitions. We organise them months in advance, and the most exciting thing is that other members of the collective always encourage me to incorporate my art into the events. I have done murals and live sculptures in some of them, and I’ve also had the opportunity to design a poster for one of the events. I’ve met many creative people and members thanks to this group and I’m always learning something new and up-skilling with every event.”
What is the most valuable thing you have learnt from your course at NTU so far?
“The most valuable thing I’ve learnt is to be more tolerant of other art disciplines. I discarded them at first glance, but now I’m learning to appreciate and learn from the things that I dislike and question my thoughts. The most important thing for me is to learn how to question myself and my thoughts.”
What do you think about the facilities available to you?
“The studios are very big, and we get the chance to pick a place according to our needs. We also interact with other people from our year, and it’s possible to move around and interact with students from other years and courses. The workshops have a huge variety of tools, and I think that they are comfortable and very intuitive. The technicians are always around and there’s always a chance to have a chat and ask what we need to know.
“We are lucky to have a gallery on campus, so we can spend lots of time analysing each piece within each exhibition if we want to. I really like the fact that we have a shop inside the Bonington building as I can buy whatever I want there. They have a wide variety of art supplies, from paints to lino sheets.
“The campus in general is very comfortable, because we are near the city centre and a short walk from coffee shops, galleries and the library, which is one of my favourite places to spend my time. I like the way books are displayed because you might be looking for an anatomy book, but next to it you’ll have perspective or composition books, so you discover other topics which you may not have considered before.”
What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“What I most like about Nottingham is that even though it’s not a very big city, it has a very artistic and cultural background. There are many opportunities for creative people to explore and learn from. Also, I can always expand my course work with the different exhibitions that happen in the city, and these opportunities enable me to develop my artwork and knowledge.”
In a nutshell, why would you recommend your course / NTU to someone looking to study BA (Hons) Decorative Arts?
“I would recommend studying decorative arts at NTU to anyone who wants to learn how to use different materials and techniques but also is interested in developing their style. It’s difficult to find a university with a good reputation and a wide variety of facilities that also offers you creative freedom. Having tutors and technicians who are also artists can teach you something more than just how to make a good portfolio or artwork. You share experiences and learn from their failures and successes as artists. For creatives out there, you’ll always have an exhibition to visit and many opportunities to make connections and contribute to the creative background of the city.”
What are your ambitions for the future?
“Going to university is one of the first steps to developing my artistic career, which I would like to base on spreading the folk art of different cultures. I am learning to develop my own style and I would like to create something that captures attention, but also makes people think about different issues and curiosities about cultures from around the world. I hope that in the future I can dedicate myself to this.”