Whatuni Bursary awarded to Painting, Drawing & Printmaking student Rebecca Quinton
In 2022, Arts University Plymouth was awarded Best Small or Specialist University at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards, along with five £2,000 bursaries to be awarded to five students currently studying at the University.
We sat down with one of our winners, Rebecca Quinton. Originally from Northamptonshire, 23 year old Rebecca is currently studying a BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking part time.
Her practice explores the landscape of the human body, questioning what it means to lose control over your own physicality. By engaging with the politics of femininity and chronic illness, Rebecca hopes to create a dialogue that breeds empathy and celebration of human endurance. We sat down with Rebecca to find out more about how the bursary is helping her and her practice.
I couldn’t believe it! I remember opening the email and just sitting there in shock for a long time, re-reading it over and over again as the news sank in. Though I’d heard about the Whatuni award, I was unaware of the bursary fund so it definitely came as a big surprise.
The expense of good quality materials can be a huge barrier for art students. Being able to invest in my practice without worrying about the financial impact has freed up so much mental space when considering a project, whilst also allowing me to experiment with new media for the first time.
Due to chronic illness I’m not always well enough to come into university, so I’ve used some of the bursary to set up my own accessible studio space from my flat, which has allowed for much more flexibility in the way that I work.
I’ve also set aside some of the money to help with the travel costs of visiting exhibitions - in the last break between modules I went to London to see the fantastic Print and Prejudice exhibit at the V&A, alongside Cezanne and Maria Bartuszová at Tate Modern - and when the weather perks up I’m looking forward to visiting St Ives and Bristol too.
Due to my health I knew that I would not be able to sustain a full time course, which frustratingly is the only option available to undergraduates at most universities. Thankfully Arts University Plymouth offers much more flexibility to its students through the option of part time study, and I was reassured by the strong community atmosphere that a smaller, specialist university can provide. Plus, the facilities here are some of the best I’ve seen!
BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing and Printmaking prioritises practical experimentation with a range of media, and I really appreciate the level of technical support we receive from the lecturers when being introduced to new ways of working.
I’m really inspired by artists such as Carolyn Lazard, Shannon Finnegan and Romily Alice Walden, who are working to forge a way for other disabled artists and viewers in an industry that can often be really inaccessible without even realising.
Rebecca is open to commissions via her website or her portraits Instagram account.
Drawing has and continues to be a large aspect of my practice, but I’m increasingly intrigued by various printmaking methods as a process for investigating notions of time, repetition and bodily limitations. My current module on colour is also providing a really helpful introduction to painting, something I have previously shied away from.
Richard Webb, Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking said, “Rebecca is an enquiring, passionate and curious young woman who is open to change, be changed and make change. She wants to see and explore behind the hill which is the most profound need we wish to see in any student, to find their vision and understand who they are to become, Rebecca has this in spades. I am so delighted to hear this has been awarded to such a gifted and well deserved student.”