(From 2010) ‘I shall start by introducing who I am, I am a student on the foundation year at Wimbledon. I was studying in India for the last two years and my Art course there was extremely liberal, much more than Wimbledon. I am finding it very emotional, overwhelming, exhausting, wonderful and challenging starting a new life in London. Everything is different, completely opposite from my previous life. In India I was living an hour and a half from the nearest city, on a hill in the middle of, well, nowhere. There were many small villages surrounding the school where the 200 of us students would go every afternoon and teach or play with children and adults, as well as help fund community projects. I knew everyone at my school and had formed some extremely close relationships. Since the students there were from 75 different countries we were encouraged to be different, individual, speak up for what we believe in and so on. Sometimes it really felt like the more out of place and bizarre you were the more people liked and accepted you. I felt very comfortable just being me, being an artist and wondering around drawing and painting people and the school.
Now I am in London living with my parents, working at Waitrose, living in the heart of a city with endless amounts of luxuries, studying at a school with mainly British people, in a very British setting.
I find the course extremely challenging. It seems very unstable, going from really wonderful to horrible from week to week. I suppose this is a mix of me reacting and adapting to this new environment, culture and course. My Fine Art project was especially frustrating as I couldn’t understand the brief, what was required of us. As an introduction to the project they had given us a few extremely complicated words such as Neurosis, Voyeurism, Absence/ Presence and I just couldn’t physically understand what I was supposed to do. I came to class every day, did the five drawings and paintings we were asked to do, but that still left me puzzled what to do next. I didn’t manage to speak to a single tutor until the Monday of the second week and hence spent all the time prior to that thinking, sitting, trying to decrypt this complicated, complex brief we were given. It made me extremely emotional and overwhelmed.
Finally the Monday of the second week I managed to talk with a tutor which completely transformed my project. We decided to work on all the art I had produced as a result of trying to make sense and understand the brief; all the passion I had put into my journal turned out to be the art more so than the five drawings and paintings. I interviewed six students who were all doing the same project as I was. I was curious to know how they found it, if they felt as frustrated and overwhelmed as I did.
I took their photo, painted over it to render it anonymous and then typewrote the interview onto it. I was extremely pleased with the outcome. The struggle towards this piece was tough but in the end it made it what it was. I hope you can relate to this in some way, and would love to hear what you think, about my work, or your experiences.’