Hello, Alice, it is very nice to talk with you for a little bit about your learning experience, so tell me, how did you choose Printmaking studies? What was your main motivation, for selecting Camberwell College of Arts?
Alice Valentina Biga: Hello, it’s a pleasure for me to be helpful. Printmaking became part of my life in 2006, when I started my BA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, Italy. Before that I have been studying Art at High School for five years, but Printmaking subject was not included at all. I choose to undertake a way that was completely unknown to me: etching, mainly because of its alchemic side. Camberwell College of Arts amazed me when I first visited on an open day in 2010: the Printmaking workshop’s facilities are something quite rare to find somewhere else in this country and in the country where I am from: Italy; therefore, because I knew I wanted to keep on study printmaking, I applied hoping to have the great opportunity to use those facilities.
Creative industries as well as the visual design are considered to be precarious and very competitive fields, what do you think about it?
I do agree with that statement and I am also conscious and scared about that world; scared because the competition is about money and fame, whom can easily kill or deform the intention and purity of (a piece) of Art.
Regarding your discipline content, how is it organized, can you tell us more about it? How would you explain Printmaking for somebody, who is not familiar with it?
I am enrolled as a FULL TIME MA, which is organized in 3 Units. Students have access to the workshop three times a week, plus one lecture a week; twice a month there is a tour in galleries with our course leader or a visit to the prints room at Tate Britain or V&A; tutorials are once a month plus critique groups which sometimes are also self-organized by students. The objective is a final exhibition at the end of the academic year (September 2012), but during the course we are encouraged to be productive, to experiment, to research and make the most of it. Theory is important, so we have a few essays to write as well. Printmaking includes all those techniques (etching, woodcut, lithography, letterpress and screen– printing ) that produce a series made by one matrix. Each of these techniques works in its own different way, but they also have many commons stages. I would suggest this really well made website which clearly explains printmaking in a funny way!
Comparing visual arts studies and practices to other countries, such as United States or European countries, do you think it is more beneficial to choose studying in UK than any other country? Or is it not a big difference to you?
My experience to study in UK is being more than positive, so I would suggest Camberwell College of Arts as a great College to study Printmaking, but I know there are great Colleges where to study this subject in Belgium, Germany and United States as well.
How would you relate your study experience with reality, do you think you will be able to use skills you gained to you career opportunities?
I believe it will take time, but what this College is teaching me will surely be fundamental for my career opportunities.
There are some professionals in the design and visual arts industry, who claim what it is more beneficial just to go and work in the industry instead of taking three years course. You are doing MA course already, what is your opinion regarding that statement?
I do agree with the fact, that a working experience in the industry can be more beneficial than a BA, but at the same time I would not be so selective; MA is also completely different from BA, it gives you the opportunity to work beside it and you can organize it following your own interests.
We would like to ask about drawbacks of your study related experience. Do you have any criticism, opinion about how some things could be changed in the course? What would it be?
Fortunately, I do not have any complains about my studies at this College, surely because my studies in Italy were so behind comparing to how everything is organized here.
Do you think the fees of the courses in UK are worth its quality and content? What is your opinion about recent increase to 9000 per year for BA?
I believe, that no course is worth £ 9000 per year, even the best organized and structured one. These fee increases are ridiculous: culture should be meant as one of the most important element in human being’s life, not a privilege for just a few. People had fight against this in the past and now, as we know, history is a circle and it is repeating itself. Unfortunately, this situation is spreading in many countries in Europe, and Italy is one of those as well.
Tell us a little bit about the projects, practices you work with at the moment, why do you like/do not like it?
My studies are based on etching, which I am trying to combine with my new researches: at the moment I am experimenting a new technique (solar– plate) which I did not studied in Italy, because it was not being taught. I would also like to combine etching with a 3D influence.
What kind of visual arts are you interested in? Do you familiarize yourself with any particular style, historical period or media?
My favorite ways of expressions are photography and etching, but I recently discovered the potentiality of working with installation, afte seeing “Black Mirror”, a multi-channel film installation by Doug Aitken at the Victoria Miro gallery. It made me understand, how different media can work together and create an atmosphere, where the viewer is included and he is part of that atmosphere for a short time, being a really important part of it.
What would you suggest other young creatives, considering to study in UK? Any tips, mistakes better not to be done?
I would definitely suggest to a person that want to study Printmaking to apply at Camberwell College of Arts because is a great opportunity.
What about the area you live, does it have fascinating art scene, independent galleries, etc ?
I live in Herne Hill, which is between Camberwell Green and Brixton, so I have the opportunity to be close to many interesting areas. I know that South London starts to have more lively and active art scene, which is really interesting and helpful.
Thank you for your time!