Chlo Elizabeth Reynolds graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2017.

On the basis of her final year body of work, Chlo was shortlisted for the Aon Community Art Awards Programme, this was followed by a solo exhibition ‘Painting Demons’ at The Bowery in Leeds in 2018 and a residency in New York. Chlo was also Creative in Residence in Fine Art at Leeds Arts University in 2018.

What did you enjoy about your time at Leeds Arts University and how did the course and residency help you?

Being surrounded by so many creative people who have come from all walks of life, as well as the social aspect and work ethic that comes with working in the environment! The tutors are artists themselves so they really know what they are talking about, which is really inspirational. The workshops are also amazing with highly skilled technical support.

Working with the students on the first day of my residency at Leeds Arts University was very inspiring, I was able to talk to students and offer tutorials to them. I learnt a lot from the students and they were really happy with the support, it was great to give back and help.

What did you do after leaving university?

I worked full-time in a shop and made paintings in my spare time. I was shortlisted for the Aon Community Arts Programme at my degree show and I was lucky enough to sell all my paintings at auction. This encouraged me to leave my job in the shop to fully dedicate to myself to my practice, I applied to several residencies to broaden my networking and to help strengthen my practice.

Firstly, I applied locally which is how I got my East Street Arts graduate residency, funded by Leeds Arts University. It was a brilliant opportunity and enabled me to meet other local artists. I had a big studio which was free and had studio visits from tutors from Leeds Arts University. It was a great way to soften the blow into graduate life. I made sure I was always promoting my work on social media and this landed me my first commission, a painted mural for Rushbond PLC.

Soon after I was awarded a residency at Pine Plains, New York (which I found on CuratorSpace, an amazing platform for emerging artists) I lived and worked there for a month, it was an incredible opportunity where I was visited by curators and gallerists. After returning from New York in autumn 2018 I began a placement on the Creative in Residence scheme at Leeds Arts University. 

Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates wanting to work in your field?

Never give up and just ride the roller-coaster, apply to everything and anything even if you don’t think it would suit you. If you get rejected, move on to the next thing and just keep going! Any spare time you have Apply! Apply! Apply! If you struggle with the writing aspect, which is what a lot of artists find challenging, talk out loud, record yourself, use what works for you to learn and digest information.

Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

Currently I’m working on gaining some experience in teaching, learning how to talk to students and help them. In the future, I plan to organise a group show with recent graduates and current students from the University, from Leeds and it’s surrounding areas.  I’m also working on curating as this will help me in the future when I apply to be a teacher. I’m thinking about applying to a MFA at either the Royal college of Art or the Slade, so right now I’m developing my portfolio and working on my application.

Chlo Elizabeth's upcoming solo exhibition Painting Demons will be at the Bowery, August 30th - November 9th, Leeds, UK.

Find out more about opportunities for graduates at Leeds Arts University.