Five ways my practice has developed while studying Fine Art

Five ways my practice has developed while studying Fine Art

Mira Merali travelled from Kazakhstan to study BA (Hons) Fine Art. Now completing her MA Fine Art, she discusses five ways her practice has developed while studying at NUA. 

Mira Merali

1. I have deepened my understanding of my practice

Studying BA (Hons) Fine Art has given me the time and resources to refine my painting practice. Through inductions at the 3D workshop I’ve learnt how to construct canvas stretcher frames, and teaching staff advised me how best to develop my skills with watercolour and acrylic paint. 

The achievement I’m most proud of is learning how to grind pigments with linseed oil to make oil paints because I now better understand the properties of each colour and pigment.

2. I have discovered a passion for new creative disciplines

I have also discovered a passion for printmaking which pushed me to explore techniques such as linocut, etching and screen print. Before that my creative practice was limited to painting.

Mira Merali BA Degree Show 2019

"The collaboration of BA (Hons) Fine Art with local galleries and arts organisations has enabled me to exhibit my work in professional gallery spaces."

3. I have gained experience working in professional environments

The collaboration of BA (Hons) Fine Art with local galleries and arts organisations has enabled me to exhibit my work in professional gallery spaces for the first time.

Opportunities with Anteros Arts Foundation and Firstsite have encouraged me to refine my skills writing project proposals, artist statements and artist’s CV, as well as understanding pricing my work.

4. I have improved my academic research skills

A goal of studying MA Fine Art was to push my report writing further, which I have been able to do through workshops and one-on-one tutor sessions offered by NUA’s Study Skills program.

Attending sessions about reflective writing and critical thinking has made me meditate on my practice and feel more confident in my academic abilities.

5. I have been supported to push myself out of my comfort zone

At NUA I’ve been supported to develop my skills and attend events which encourage cross-course collaboration. In Year 2 I attended Interchange, a two-day event which aimed to engage us with ways of working outside our course.

I chose to visit a human anatomy workshop where I modelled the human skeleton using wire and modelling wax. The experience convinced me for the first time to try my hand at sculpture, which has now developed further on my MA Fine Art.

The key point I took away is to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to grow.