Current BA (Hons) Fine Art student, Ben Sargent, tells us about his time at Leeds Arts University and his plans for his future...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?

Coming from a relatively small city, I wanted to go to an energetic and busy university. The exhibition that was displayed when I visited Leeds Arts University played a big factor in my decision, which was showing prints by Louise Bourgeois, an artist I really admire. The specialist nature of the Leeds Arts University meant that I would be surrounded by like-minded people in a really creative environment. On top of that, the facilities are unparalleled, no other university that I visited had such a wide range of available workshops or equipment for Fine Art.

What made you select BA (Hons) Fine Art?

Fine Art, in my mind, is the most exciting course. There is always something new to try out and a new direction to move work towards. Fine Art allows me to do far more than work in the studio only, it has allowed me to explore Leeds and beyond through becoming part of its wider art community by hosting exhibitions and attending exhibition openings and events.

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

I find the course gives me the freedom to experiment and make the work that I really enjoy. Working in the studio I often have excellent discussions with tutors to help me progress further and see things in new ways. I’m pushed to continually improve and move my work forward in a professional manner. The visiting professionals have become a really useful part of the course. The talks, which we have every week from a different professional, have given me a good sense of how artists make a living in the world after university.

What do you plan to do after University?

I am beginning to get a sense of how artists survive once they have graduated. Whilst I am still deciding what my next step will be, I will definitely be considering new opportunities such as artist residencies. Whatever my next step I will continue to exhibit work and organise and curate exhibitions.

What makes Leeds a good place to study?

Leeds has given me everything I need to make the most of my time as a student. Since moving here I have set up a DIY record label and started an art collective/promotion company in my spare time. I love how compact the city is, I can walk most places with ease and public transport is quick and inexpensive. Leeds has easy access to other cities like Sheffield and Manchester and is surrounded by great places like Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield.