Olivia Azzopardi

Current student

I came from a multi-disciplined background in Sixth Form where I was introduced art in a non-traditional route with subjects in Art-Textile Design and Photography. At the time I was trying to decide between the specific degrees in Textiles and Photography. From a visiting alumnus to my secondary school, she introduced the Art Foundation course, where I could explore different avenues of the creative arts before narrowing down on a specific field to go into for a degree.

I came into the Foundation course thinking of trying multiple disciplines and concepts before  progressing onto the Textile degree offered at Loughborough University. I came into the Foundation with a drive to explore different avenues from Photography to Fine Art to Textiles and other multi-disciplines to experiment with before starting a degree. I chose the Foundation to help me cultivate my ideas of what creative direction I wanted to go in to.

As a student with a hearing impairment, I was very well accommodated and supported. Technical staff in loud mechanical workshops made sure I was comfortable in each learning environment. Tutors on the programme also supported students with building up portfolios, professional presentations, personal statements, interview preparation and applying on UCAS to progress onto degrees at different universities. Staff gave great guidance into what creative career path I wanted to undertake.

Olivia Azzopardi

I enjoyed Part 3 the most as I got to hone ceramics as my medium for an entirely self-driven project. I specifically enjoyed the Life Drawing week and the 3D workshops (Wood, Fine Metals, Plastics, Ceramics, Plaster). But most importantly was the first week in the introduction to the Fine Art specialism, I was encouraged to try oil painting for the first time! Which was intimidating at first but taking a risk and trying something new with a medium I had little knowledge in truly opens a door to so many possibilities. It made me take a full 360 turn into what type of artist I wanted to become, from then on, I became more open minded to new experiences.

My advice to anyone considering the Foundation course is to expect to work hard and to be an independent thinker. They are going to push you into places in the arts that you never would have thought of. Keep an open mind to trying new things, having a specific idea of what path you want to go down can stunt your creative journey – be bold, take risks and most importantly have fun! Be outward thinking, open minded, be confident in what you create. This course is only a year packed with every discipline imaginable, not everything will go how you expect it to, but that’s part of the fun with ups and downs this course will build up an artist’s resilience.

I think my biggest achievements during my time at University was winning the Best-overall Performance in the Fine Art specialism on the Art Foundation course (The John Mack prize). However more currently my greatest achievements have been stepping into the role as School President for Creative Arts Department and securing my placement abroad.

By the end of my degree I hope that I become an independent artist, to the point where I can exhibit and sell my works globally. The Foundation course allowed me to understand what specialism I fully enjoyed and allowed me to see my strengths and weaknesses were. I did not think of ceramics as an avenue for my future, but now It is something I have a true passion for now. I came into the Foundation course with a Textiles and Photography background, and I came out of it with an understanding for conceptual art, ceramics, sculpture, painting, and completely different mediums I never thought I would have a talent for unless I did the Foundation course. It became an opportunity to gain an artist’s mentality. The Foundation course was the steppingstone between A-Levels and a creative degree.

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