Postgraduate art and design case study
Name: Sandrea Simons
University: Nottingham Trent University
Course studied: MA fine art
I decided to do a masters in fine art because, a year on from my undergraduate degree, I realised I didn't have a clear enough understanding of professional practice to make a living as an artist. I hoped that the MA would give me more experience of working independently so that there would be an easier transition to working life. I also hoped that I would gain access to a new network of people involved in the art world, and that the qualification would help me to get involved in teaching.
The purpose of my masters was to specialise in one area and produce a substantial art piece at the end of it. I arrived at the course with a good idea of what I wanted to do. As a single parent, I had tried internet dating and had been the victim of a Nigerian scammer. I decided to make a film about it called Switch. I took on the role of scammer, contacting men on the internet who I suspected were scammers and playing along to see what would happen. I eventually got one man to admit what he was doing on camera. The film was fairly controversial and attracted substantial media coverage.
Taking study further
After the course, an opportunity arose through contacts in my department to do a week's paid work creating a painting in a large hotel in Belgium that was being refurbished. This led to a semi-permanent contract. I travel to Belgium for a week every six weeks to offer technical support to a team of international artists who are working on the refurbishment. Once the contract finishes, I'd like to get some teaching work, but I would also consider part-time employment in a gallery to support my work as an artist. Looking further ahead, I'd like to write a book based on my research into internet dating, and the idea of a PhD appeals!