We caught up with current BA (Hons) Fine Art student Steven Ellis to how he's getting on with the course so far...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?  

Living locally I have always been aware of Leeds Arts University’s reputation and visiting the end of year shows confirmed this. As a mature student I came through the further education programme via the Access to Higher Education course, it then became obvious that the University was one of the best art institutions in the country.  

What made you select Fine Art?

I’ve always admired the diverse creativity and skills within fine art. It’s an historical subject that’s constantly topped up by global contribution. As an artist I am able to study these contributions and add to them via my own creative liberty; to do this within a subject that has no media or material restrictions is exciting.

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

The objective is for you to become a fine artist with your own identity. The programme is modular based and covers the key elements needed to develop. You work alongside and with each other; it’s working in this environment I enjoy the most.

What are the studios and facilities like at the University?

The facilities are vast. This will be my fifth year of study and I still haven’t fully explored all the resources available, having so many options fuels creativity.

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

Researching for my dissertation, I’m pulling together a bibliography. The priority will be synthesising theory to practice. I’m also creating some work for an exhibition in New York, a group exhibition consisting of students and tutors. Mimesis is the catalyst for my work. How do the mimetic qualities of representation affect modern society? I create drawings and sculptures, often combining traditional and nontraditional materials.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere when you’re an artist; the tricky bit is finding someone or something that can inform your practice. I’ve recently had the good fortune to meet with Jeremy Deller; he gave me a guided tour of his exhibition at the Venice Biennale. He’s definitely an artist I find inspirational, particularly because Deller’s work revolves around social concerns. 

What do you plan to do after University?

The hope is to continue making and showing work within the wider artistic community. There’s many options to consider, teaching or artist in residence are possibilities.  If I can find employment within my field of study, I will be happy.

Tell us what you like about Leeds?

In a nut shell, everything.  Leeds is a big city and everything you need, can usually be found locally. It’s a great place to live and study and the arts scene is healthy.