Congratulations to former BA Fine Art, Critical and Curatorial Practices student Jemima Williams, who is the first graduate from Plymouth to join Spike Island's prestigious graduate residency scheme.
Each year Spike Island, based in Bristol, provides support and opportunities for promising graduates of BA Fine Art programmes through an open call to students. Joining graduates from University of the West of England and Falmouth University, Jemima will be one of five new Graduate Fellows for 2014-2015.
As part of the scheme, each graduate will get working space in Spike Island's artists’ studios as well as professional development opportunities and advice.
Becoming a Graduate Fellow rounds off a successful year for Jemima, who also had two of her most recent pieces shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 in July.
Speaking of her recent successes, Jemima said: "I was quite surprised to beat such stiff competition, but I'm looking forward to getting started in October.
"I had a great interview with the team via Skype, after sending them pieces from my Final Major Project.
"They asked me how I would benefit from having a space at Spike Island, and how I would make best use of crit sessions to develop my work."
It's going to be a busy few months for Jemima, who currently works at many of Plymouth's best arts organisations including KARST and Plymouth Arts Centre.
"The curatorial aspects of my course helped me realise that I want to work in arts institutions and continue my practice at the same time – it's the best way to do it," she said. "You get to work with other contemporary artists and that helps you develop your own practice."
Jemima has also worked on a number of exhibitions for the Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, helping to install work for some of our most prestigious shows. "I really enjoyed helping to install Marmite Painting Prize. I am an artist who works with no specific medium, so the work in the show was a direct contrast to my practice."
Staff from the Fine Art programme are naturally very pleased to have one of their alumni on such a widely renowned programme. Steven Paige, BA (Hons) Fine Art lecturer at Plymouth College of Art said:
“Spike Island's programme is one of the best opportunities for graduates to platform their practice, and a breeding ground for the next up-and-coming artists. It’s great professional exposure, too."
For more on Spike Island and their Graduate Fellowship Scheme, visit their website: spikeisland.org.uk/blogs