We caught up with current BA (Hons) Fine Art (sculpture strand) student Martin Darbyshire to ask about his time at the University so far...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?    

As an artist it made sense to go to a specialist Art University. The year I started, tuition fees increased to £8,250 and art education budgets were (are still) been slashed by central government, so I decided it would be best to go somewhere where I knew all of the money would be spent on art. Although I can’t control what the University spends its money on, I know all of its facilities could benefit me at any given time.

What made you select Fine Art?

Because I’m an artist and not a designer.

What do you really enjoy about your Programme and the University?

The Fine Art tutors have excellent knowledge, both of art education and fine art practice. This gives you confidence that your education is in safe hands. When every day you go to University and the tutors and technicians show continual passion about what they teach it provides a platform for you to explore your imagination without self-doubt.  

I really enjoy engaging with fellow students on the Fine Art programme and across the University who inspire me daily with their ideas and craftsmanship.

What are the studios and facilities like at the University?

The facilities for making tangible things are excellent, something that is helped by brilliant technicians. The digital facilities are a real jewel so I’m dreading losing all these facilities when I graduate.  

What are you currently working on - what area do you specialise in?

I consider myself a sculptor as I work in forms. 

In October we (Fine Art students) will be travelling to deepest Scotland for a Foundry residency so I’m currently making work to be cast in Bronze.  

I also have an exhibition coming up at The Crooked House in Burley so I'm just deciding what pieces to show. It's in a residential house full of everyday clutter so it will be interesting to see how my work interacts in a non-gallery environment.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Inspiration can come in many guises. Studying Fine Art provides a structure so that all these inspirations can be harnessed to make something that can hopefully inspire others.

What do you plan to do after University?

I’m not a great planner. One aspect of being an artist is that we have the freedom not to plan. This is one of the reasons why I have great respect for tutors who manage to be planners and artists at the same time.

Tell us what you like about Leeds?

The people. Without sounding too bias they’re the best!