Getting to know the Arts Ambassadors: Katherine Wells

Arts Ambassadors and BA Fine Art Graduate Katherine Wells reflects on how she decided to take up an art degree and how this new role will support her ambitions.

I grew up moving regularly due to my father’s job in the Armed Forces. By the age of 11 I had moved countless times and I found it very odd to have a “stable” house in the South of England finally aged 13. I feel though that the moving helped develop how I am today; curious, confident and open-minded.

Spending my time seeing new places and meeting new types of people was and is – I think – a very important part of how I view the world. I may not have done so willingly but I did let all these colour my version of the world. This may sound odd but I understand that everyone views everything so differently that it’s interesting to talk to others. Especially about the arts.

So, with my travels the main constants for me were art and literature. I am a heavy reader and even though my own work centres on photography and video, I have always loved to draw.

This translated into my career choices, which were mainly (always) teaching. I am bilingual -German as my first language and English as my second – and I was sure I wanted to go down the route of languages and literature, however I wasn’t as involved as I felt I had to be. So, I followed my instinct and took Fine Art and Photography for GSCE, A Level and an Arts Foundation. That’s six years of study under my belt before I even got to University. I applied for BA Graphics (as they had Photography as a pathway) at Winchester School of Art (WSA) but I soon found that it wasn’t for me. I transferred into Fine Art in the second year and then began to flourish, feeling my rhythm with the work flow and the freedom of creativity.

Still from my DegreeShow piece: Überwachung, 2018

My interests vary heavily, from art and literature to conspiracy theories and the paranormal which has an influence upon my art. Recently I have been going down the route of “Existential Crisis: Are Robots taking over? Government is corrupt and do I really exist in other peoples’ universes…?” … it’s a fun and broad subject.

Soon enough, after spending time within The Winchester Gallery at WSA and talking to other students I felt the pull towards becoming a Curator/ Lecturer. The need to stay within this world was strong and seemed to engulf me. I love helping other artists and deciphering their work. It’s fun and  I seem to have a knack for it!

I applied for the Arts Ambassador position over the summer because I want to develop myself and experience the world I am planning to establish my career in. I wish to promote the arts and culture to everyone whatever their background and not just to people who are already involved in the arts. Art is an expression of emotions and opinions, anyone can create something that they are proud of, and get pleasure for engaging with culture and that is what I want to promote both within this role and in the years to come.

I can’t wait to post more about what my fellow Arts Ambassador Louise and I will be doing over the next few weeks. Arts at University of Southampton is an amazing platform that connects people across the University’s Southampton and Winchester Campuses, as well as the wider public, by promoting the wealth of activity taking place, revealing some of the inner workings of the area’s cultural sector, with a focus on Southampton’s Cultural Quarter as well as all the stuff going on and around the cities.

Katherine (left) and Louise (Right) at the opening night of the Gerhard Richter exhibition at The John Hansard Gallery

And I am super lucky to have my best friend Louise working with me as an Arts Ambassador because we work well together and because she can help me navigate Southampton as it’s her home turf!

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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Arts at University of Southampton

Whether you’re a student, staff or from our wider community, there are plenty of exciting cultural opportunities for everyone through Arts at University of Southampton.

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