Oxford University Beckons for Stockton Art Student
A talented art student from Wolviston is celebrating after winning a place at Oxford University’s prestigious Ruskin School of Art to study a degree in Fine Art.
19-year-old Fiona Cameron has been offered the opportunity at the top university while currently studying for a UAL foundation diploma in art and design at The Northern School of Art (CCAD) in Middlesbrough, after demonstrating her creativity and artistic skills during the one-year course.
Specialising in fine art, the foundation diploma is helping Fiona to prepare for degree studies, and is a highly recommended course for gaining entry to the highly competitive arts institution.
With only 30 places on the course each year at Ruskin for the best and brightest students, Fiona is now over the moon to be invited to join the BFA Fine Art degree at the top rated art school in the UK.
Fiona said: “I was in complete shock when I found out and it still hasn’t sunk in yet. It was a huge confidence boost to hear back that I was successful, and I am thrilled and so privileged to be able to study there in September.
“I had never thought that there would be a possibility for me to study at Oxford and it took a great deal of thought before I plucked up the courage to make an application. It was always a risk to apply one thing I had learnt was that if I didn’t apply I’d never know.
“My family are all delighted and have been very supportive throughout the whole application process. It is nice to be able to say I’ve done the family proud.”
She continued: “I have had family and friends study for a Foundation Diploma at The Northern School of Art and from seeing their progression throughout the course I’d wanted to have the year to develop and mature as a student. I think there are huge benefits to studying for a Foundation Diploma it gives you a different thought process and way of working and helps give you the confidence to maybe apply to universities you may not thought you’d be successful with.”
Prior to her foundation course, Fiona studied for an Extended Diploma in Fine Art at The Northern School of Art’s campus on Green Lane, achieving a triple D* and not dropping one single mark. As part of her final project which was displayed as part of the The Northern School of Art’s Summer Show, she created a range of work exploring the adaption and evolution of mankind, including a large-scale sculpture featuring her own foot cast and fused with wire and plaster.
“I think for me being able to study a subject I am passionate about is such a privilege, I think there is a huge freedom in being able to learn more about your chosen subject in a college with a sense of community. The Northern School of Art as a college is so supportive and attentive to their students’ needs, I learned so much about fine art over the two years and wanted to further my knowledge on the Foundation Diploma.”
Fiona is excited about the next few years and where her Oxford degree may take her. She added: “I have begun to think more in depth about possible careers, however currently I wanted to focus on expanding my knowledge within my subject and therefore will begin to understand more the path I may take after degree.
“Visual art and creative practice energises me and I want to pursue new ways of working, and further my conceptual thinking within the fine art degree.”
The Northern School of Art is celebrating the success of its second student to earn a place at the Ruskin School of Art, with Fiona following in the footsteps of The Northern School of Art foundation diploma student Helena Greening who began the first year of her fine art degree in Sept 2017.
Sue Dewey, Course Leader for Foundation, said: “Fiona is a fabulously talented student producing very delicate, thoughtful work across painting, sculpture and drawing. Much of her work has lyrical, almost poetic qualities and her painting has a beautiful sensibility for colour, composition and conceptual ideas.
“That prior to foundation she developed her skills across CCAD’s Extended Diploma in Fine Art, rather than A-level routes normally associated with Oxford is testament to the high quality of The Northern School of Art courses throughout. We are thrilled at her well-deserved success and the opportunities it will bring, and look forward to seeing her career develop into the future.”
She continued: “Foundation is a large, well established course and our students have an excellent record of progression to degrees nationally but even so it’s something special that for two years running students from Foundation have landed places on such a prestigious course.”
Sue believes there is still a lack of awareness and people are generally unfamiliar with the Foundation course, as she explained. “A one-year art Foundation is unique in the qualifications system and to many remains largely unknown or misunderstood. For those aged 18 it’s a free year of education for post A-level (or equivalent) and can open up unrivalled opportunities for those interested in art and or design.”
She added: “The Foundation staff are always happy to visit schools and college sixth forms to provide information about the Foundation experience so more students from the North East might, like Fiona, access similar opportunities in the future.”