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Lizzie Clark

Lizzie Clark completed the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course in 2023.

Plans for next year?

I will be studying the Textiles in Practice BA at Manchester School of Art with a year abroad placement.

How has the Foundation Diploma influenced your work?

Having come from a previous year of study at another university where I was reading an academic degree, I decided to further pursue my interest in art and design. I became particularly interested in illustrative drawing, therefore leading me to leave my previous studies and enrol on the Foundation course at Manchester School of Art. Although I had a keen interest in drawing, I was unsure which degree I wanted to study at university. The Foundation course assisted me in narrowing down my ideas and choosing what specialism I wanted to do, helping me to pick the Fashion and Textiles pathway. Quickly I decided that the Textiles in Practice BA would enable me to use my skills to focus on textile design and printmaking, aspects of the Foundation course that I felt naturally drawn towards. It was only through the Foundation year that I began to distinguish what I wanted to study, and having that extra year to experiment and explore my options was vital in that process.

Any advice for new students on the Foundation Diploma?

My advice would be to try everything. There is a huge range of facilities, and trying out a new technique or creative practice could lead to a new-found love for a process that you may never have thought of trying.It can be daunting at first, but the access to workshops and inductions is one of the best components of studying a creative course, and the strong sense of support and community at Manchester School of Art is even more encouraging.

What techniques or facilities have you used to create your work?

One of the many positive things about studying the Foundation course at Manchester School of Art is the freedom to experiment. It is greatly encouraged that students studying the Foundation diploma attempt a range of different techniques and creative practices, taking part in workshops and inductions that can influence their work. While on the course, I made sure to try as many techniques and use the facilities as much as possible, incorporating processes such as laser-printing, bookbinding, letterpress, and silkscreen printing into my work, but also to indulge my own creative interests.

Can you share some highlights from your time at Manchester School of Art?

The access to a wide range of facilities, the freedom to experiment, the support from staff and students, and the strong sense of collaborative working across different creative disciplines are all key highlights of studying at Manchester School of Art.

The Fashion and Textiles tutors have been immensely helpful to me. Not only do they help students to feel supported and encouraged, but they also create a familiar community that inspires and motivates students to do their very best. As well as this, the organisation of peer group reviews, group crits and just general check-in sessions have been hugely helpful in navigating the course and connecting with peers, kick-starting your venture into a creative degree. Amy has been one of the most enthusisastic and supportive tutors – always championing students’ work and accommodates all ideas, no matter how complicated and outrageous. Her enthusiasm and keen interest in students’ ideas is extremely encouraging, and this level of support is a common theme across all tutors and staff on Foundation.

Manchester is also a brilliant city for students, with a whole host of different activities and exciting opportunities for every kind of person. Living in a city has been a huge change in my lifestyle having grown up in a small village in Rutland. I have a huge love for music, and with Manchester’s lively music and art scene it has enabled me to experience some fantastic cultural events that would not have been available elsewhere. Although Manchester is busy, it is a relatively small city that has a deep sense of community and a strong pride in its identity. It is also very accommodating of students, so there is always something to do. The range of architecture, history and culture in Manchester has been hugely influential, inspiring me to focus my Final Major Project on the differences between living in the rural countryside where I grew up, and now living in a bustling urban environment. This project took inspiration from the city, using aspects such as the variety of architecture and the melting pot of cultures as key influence points.