Meet the Arts Ambassadors: Gabriela Gurycz

Next up in our season of blogs introducing our new Arts Ambassadors is BA English and History student Gabriela Gurycz. Gaby talks about what sparked her interest in visual art, culture, and museums, and how that led to her applying for a role as an Arts Ambassador.

The Holiday Of A Lifetime: Miró, Museums, and becoming an arts ambassador.

I grew up in Krakow, a three-minute walk away from the library. Since I can remember it has been one of my favourite places, and stuck with me through my family’s move to England – the land of Mary Poppins and Paddington Bear. My love of books soon turned into a love of English and a love of writing.

What I’ve always loved about reading was the passion people felt about the books they held dear, the opportunity to share the same adventures and enjoy the seemingly same imagined experiences. It seemed only natural that I picked English and History at university and try my hand at digging even deeper into these imagined landscapes, while at the same time begin to wrap my head around narratives from the past.

Everything began with a holiday to Barcelona. It’s rich culture and Gaudian architecture fascinated me.  A moment that probably changed everything for me was a visit to the Joan Miró Foundation. At first I muddled my way through the abstract paintings, a bit fed up because they seemed to make absolutely no sense. But after a while similar motifs emerged. It was clear there was a kind of language to Miro’s work. And maybe what was important was not that there was an established way to interpret his language, but that I was free to take away from it my very own message.

At University my study on London’s museums and galleries – sacred destinations of countless trips growing up –  showed me there was a science and theory behind the magic of these places. An English module on Visual Culture and Contemporary Fiction firmly established galleries as my favourite places. It also showed me how wonderfully visual art and literature combined, and how fascinating the conversation between the two disciplines could be.

I applied for the Arts Ambassador role because I want to be involved with the arts as closely as I can. This seems to be a fantastic opportunity to listen to the conversations between different forms. I know it will bring me closer to my favourite institutions and places that I love and allow me to work with them and hopefully contribute in some way to the conversations running between the many Southampton landscapes, imagined, painted and written.

Arts Ambassadors is a paid opportunity, supported by the Careers and Employability Service’s Excel Southampton Internship programme, University of Southampton.

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