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Person walking in front of a painting at the Degree Show
Olivia Turner's work at the ECA Degree Show 2015
Olivia has won the RSA Sir William Gillies Bequest Award
Image courtesy of Gareth Easton

In this series of features, we catch-up with alumni who graduated in 2015 to find out what they have been doing in their first year since graduating. In today's piece, we hear from Olivia Turner, a Painting - BA (Hons) graduate, who was included in the New Contemporaries exhibition earlier this year, and won the Sir William Gillies Bequest Award.

Since graduating I decided to base myself in Edinburgh. I set up an exhibition, studios and community space, called DOK Artist Space, down at Leith Docks, along with another Painting graduate, Karen Fleming. After graduating we found there was a real shortage for these kind of spaces around Edinburgh, and so we decided to set up our own. DOK launched on 2nd June 2016 and is now fully up and running. It's currently home to the studio I work in. It's been a great resource for me - it's allowed me to create and plan large installations, such as my piece for the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA).

Some highlights from this year include showing work in the New Contemporaries exhibition, being one of the visual artists who took part in the Hidden Door Festival, showing work in London at Scream Editions gallery, and winning both the Sir William Gillies Bequest Award and the RSA Latimer Award at the RSA Open exhibition. The latter two felt like real privileges, in particular. To have had this kind of achievement so early on will help me to progress and create further work.

The DOK studios are currently self-funded, and so I have had to work full time in between all of this. It was actually the careers adviser at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) who, by linking us up with Ocean Terminal, helped kick-start this whole venture. The professional practice work we do at ECA has helped me a lot with filling out application and proposal forms, particularly for Hidden Door. I think the momentum of the programme as a whole allowed me to carry on at a good speed, giving me the drive to push myself as an artist and to continue my career after graduating.