Kathleen Lagan | School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies | University of Leeds

Kathleen Lagan

The University of Leeds was the first university I visited by myself and I am so glad that I discovered it on my own. The aura of independence is infectious and I felt proud walking around the campus: I instantly knew I had to go here. That day only got better when I found that Leeds offers my ideal course of Fine Art with History of Art, 50% of the course dedicated to each. I found that this course suited me as, coming straight from A-levels, I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue – this course kept many doors open to explore.

As one of the first sets of students to use the new School facilities, I was both thrilled and intimidated to be met by such an expansive, untouched space. I was comforted by seeing familiar classrooms and delighted to be greeted with large, white studios. I felt like a true working artist as I laid out my materials and felt happy enough, with the guidance and support of my tutors, to immediately step out of my comfort zone and create my first and biggest sculpture to date.

I also chose to be a course representative; it has been a great opportunity to see how the School, staff and students all work together, and being a voice for my fellow students has been an interesting and informative experience. I hope to do more for my School and the University in the future.

I have greatly enjoyed my course so far; the mixture of practical and theoretical work is enthralling and they ultimately bleed into one another. For instance, I have found one of my practical projects informed by the topic of female Baroque artists that we had studied. The multidisciplinary approach allows you to refine your writing and artistic style to help find out who you are as both an academic and an artist. I believe that is the beauty of the University of Leeds: it encourages you to create, step out into the unknown and find yourself amongst the vast array of students and flourishing city life, but it will not abandon you. Leeds University Union and the University’s Student Services are compassionate and excellent and, as a disabled student, I have found the Disability Services an invaluable aid who have always been able to help me.