Programme: Sculpture

Year: 2014

In this article, we focus on Paloma Proudfoot, who graduated in 2014 from our Sculpture BA – Hons programme. This is Paloma’s account of her first year since leaving Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)…

After graduating, I found a job as a trainee in the grants giving department of the Art Fund, a charity that raises money for UK museums and galleries to acquire new work.

This was a really valuable experience in making me aware of a different side of the art world than I had previously experienced through making art myself and doing internships at galleries throughout my degree; however it made me realise that I didn't want to work in arts administration and gave me the conviction to pursue my art practice full-time.

ECA developed in me the work ethic required to be an artist, particularly the energy to continually try out new ideas and find alternative ways of doing things if initial attempts proved unsuccessful. This initiative stood me in good stead this year as, without the accessibility of a proper studio and workshop facilities, I had to think of new ways of making work.

On moving back to my family home, I made my brother’s old room into a makeshift studio and started developing new pieces for an exhibition I was invited to be a part of at the EMBASSY gallery in Edinburgh, and for the RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy. I used this work to build a portfolio for Masters applications, and was offered places at the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL, and at the Royal College of Art (RCA).

At RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES I was chosen to be a part of the Fleming Collection New Scottish Artistsexhibition, and was awarded an Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop residency, which I am currently undertaking; it’s proving to be another fantastic opportunity to develop new work.

"ECA provided me with the groundwork to start my career as an artist...which I'm now really looking forward to building on"

Paloma Proudfoot

Stasis and more

Since graduating, I have also developed collaborative projects with people that I met while at ECA. I now co-direct the performance group, Stasis, with Aniela Piasecka, a University of Edinburgh student, with whom I produced an Edinburgh Fringe show, and I am currently working on a new performance at The Number Shop, a space established and run by ECA graduates.

I have also been working closely with Rosie Harriet Ellis, who studied photography at ECA, creating still life photographs with sculpture I have made.

Having the opportunity to meet these, and many other incredibly talented friends, both at ECA and from other Schools within the University, is something I have felt particularly grateful for this year, as their support in continuing to make work without the structure and facilities of the art school has been invaluable.

This year has undoubtedly been tough juggling full time work, making art and applying for masters courses but, with all the opportunities that have arisen since my degree show, a really exciting time too.

ECA provided me with the groundwork to start my career as an artist (and getting used to calling myself one!), which I'm now really looking forward to building on at the RCA and beyond.