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Artistic evolution, experimentation and education with Francesca Hughes

3 October 2016

Part of the MA Show featured artists and designers series

Our annual MA Show showcases an exciting variety of work by emerging and established artists and designers, who have undertaken postgraduate study with us.

To celebrate the show, we'll be focusing on some of our favorite pieces from this year's exhibition, as well as the opinions and experiences of the students that have created them.

First off, we discuss artistic evolution, experimentation and education with Francesca Hughes, who is exhibiting the work produced during her MA Fine Art studies.

After studying BA (Hons) Fine Art, specialising in painting, Francesca has been teaching Art and Design in the Manchester area, before deciding to pursue postgraduate study.

'Taking time out from focusing on my practice has been good, to gain some life experience as well as allowing me to decide I really wanted to undertake an MA.

On visiting the Manchester School of Art my initial reponse was: this is somehwere I want to study. There seemed to be a great atmosphere amoungst the art students and staff that encouraged a close knit and creative environment.'

Following studying her MA with us, Francesca decided to transfer onto our MFA Fine Art course to take her practice further. Reflecting on her MA experience, she said:

'The MA has changed the way I think about art and challenged my way of thinking. I have undergone a process of picking apart my normal way of working and it is only now that I am beginning to reassemble and develop as a more robust and informed painter.

'At MA level, I have enjoyed the autonomy of just getting on with my practice, but there have been other modules that have run alongside the studio practice. Such as the 'Options Unit', where I decided to explore printmaking, I had little experience of printmaking and gained a lot.

The main asset of the course is the staff. Their support, challenge and guidance has been invaluable. I was able to speak to any of the tutors within the School and I have had tutorials with a varied range of tutors, who are all practicing artisits with different specialisms. This constant interaction and critical dialouge with others has really seen my art develop.

The seminars, lectures and group crits have been a way of further developing our studio practuce and have opened up new ways of thinking and working.'

You can see Francesca's work at our MA Show until 8 October. To find out more information about the show, its opening times and to view other students' work visit: