We caught up with current BA (Hons) Fine Art (media strand) student Paisley Boyd to see how she's getting on with the course so far...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?

The main reason I chose Leeds Arts University was for the location, I wanted somewhere outside of London with a lot going on and Leeds seemed the city for that. From there it was a choice between the 3 universities with Fine Art courses. Leeds Arts University just seemed to feel right when I visited; it had a creative community feel to it, over a larger university with a range of study. I think my only worry was that I would miss out on activities and socials going on at the larger universities, but this wasn’t the case and being at Leeds Arts University actually gave me a wider choice in this.

What made you select Fine Art?

I took a foundation course so I could figure out what course I would be best suited to. I was still experimenting with what I wanted to do and Fine Art to me seemed to suit this journey I am taking. It allows me space to explore my ideas and change my thinking if I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere with what I was exploring. The course can be anything you want it to be, it’s a matter of being self focused and not being afraid to try out new things.

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

I did the course to meet people and I’ve done just that and more. The programme has allowed me to narrow my practice into more of a specialism, but not limited me to exploring my wider interests outside of this. I have attended some great talks that the course has put on with past graduates and other creative professionals, which has been extremely valuable and has helped me be more focused.

Outside of the course the University has a whole provides exhibitions, talks and events such as Creative Networks, which has been a great way to talk to creatives at the peak of their careers and also meet those you admire. Quite early on in my first year of the course I met David Shrigley and Adam Buxton, which is a moment I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

What are the studios and facilities like at the University?

The facilities are great, it was defiantly one of the top selling points of the University for me and there are more things available to learn, make and create than there is time during my study. The technicians are passionate about what they do and very supportive in making your ideas happen. I try to make some extra time to use these facilities outside of my work for my course in order to have a wider knowledge regarding these and use them while I can.

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

I see myself as an Artist and Writer in one, and I’m interested in the idea of how similar the two practices can be. I am currently exploring themes of language and text; through observations of social interactions within society. Within this I use audio and print to question the differences and relationships between what is considered art over literature.

I also have a huge passion for film and cinema, which a lot of my writing is based around and has led to having various placements related to this. My current roles include being a Production Assistant at Cherry Kino working for Martha Jurksaitis, an analogue film and photographer. And also being the Communications Manager for No Gloss Film Festival. Through this I have gained priceless experience and knowledge working for this DIY film festival. I got both of these opportunities through being at Leeds Arts University.

Through writing I have a big interest in film journalism and finding ways to approach reviewing and presenting content. This has led to me starting up a collective website called Pints of Cake. We are a collective of creatives whose goal is to take something familiar and and to present it in an unfamiliar way, as the name reflects. I wouldn’t have been able to start something like this without the contacts I have made in Leeds and at Leeds Arts University.

I have been writing for the Leeds Arts University Students’ Union magazine Nest since I started and this has also given me a huge amount of confidence in my writing and has been a fantastic opportunity to explore and experiment with my work and see it in a printed form.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

I am currently heavily influenced by the work of Kenneth Goldsmiths in the way that he uses and experiments with words both as a writer and artist. Pipilotti Rist and John Smith’s styles and uses of video have always been an interest and influence of my ideas and approaches, as well as Terry Gilliam. However I have to stop myself there as I have loads more artists and filmmakers I could answer for this.

What do you plan to do after University?

I’m in a position where I can’t answer that and I can honestly say I don’t know. I would love to do something relating to writing and film. Writing for a magazine like Sight and Sound would be quite a dream for me, I want to work somewhere that appreciates film, its makers and still allows me to be creative.

Tell us what you like about Leeds?

The cinemas, the film festivals, the amount of things to do and take part in. Since moving to Leeds I have had a whole range of opportunities and attended loads of fantastic events, Leeds is what you make of it, can’t say I regret moving here at all.