Doing my extended diploma at Bournville College really kicked off my academic life and artistic practice. In my first year, we were split into two classes who had the same timetable, but rotating tutors. I learned a lot throughout the year, particularly textiles and computer skills I'd had no interest in learning before. The positives of choosing a BTEC over A-Levels became immediately apparent, as assessment is 100% coursework (as an art degree would be) which leaves the curriculum more varied.
The last project of the first year was the first one where we got to choose our own theme. I chose body image, focusing on the hypocrisy of large corporations trying to appropriate feminist ideology to help control their brand's image.
Here, I took the models from one of Dove's body image campaigns, and painted them in the brand's colours, to comment on the fact that Dove was merely seeking to mildly redefine what 'beautiful' is, as telling us being beautiful isn't important would potentially reduce the profit of the cosmetics company.
In my second year, we were split based on our specialties and matched up with the same specialties from the foundation degree. This brought together the artistic community within the college. It was a big year for me. I did my first illustration project and went through the UCAS process. My end of year project this time around was a body of work in which I had several themes and worked towards focusing in on one.
The exhibited work was three paintings of Aston Reservoir, and I aimed to show that there is beauty even in the most poverty stricken parts of the UK. Open space is important, especially in communities that appear to have been forgotten about.