Catherine Ross, 26, is the current Fine Art Graduate in Residence at Gray’s School of Art.

The award-winning artist, who was born in the arctic town of Yellowknife in Northwest Canada but grew up in Scotland, has spent time since graduation developing her skills and building her portfolio.

“In between graduation and taking up the residency here at Gray’s I have been keeping very busy.

“I was lucky enough to win an RSA Award which helped me fund a trip back to Canada for a month, where I visited my family's previous homes, and gathered valuable research for my work.

“I also used some of the money from sales at my Graduate Degree Show to build my own studio, which has given me plenty space to work – I think that is something which a lot of graduating artists may lack.

“Before taking up this residency at Gray’s, I also had a four-week residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden, where I was able to try out new forms of making work.”

Catherine, who has been in post at Gray’s for six months, is relishing the opportunity to be back at the school from which she graduated in July 2014 with First Class Honours in Painting.

“I think that sharing the studio with the students at Gray's helps to motivate and energise me as I work, and I find it amazing that being located somewhere different can really affect your practice as a whole.

“At the moment I’m in with the 2nd year Painting students. They will come to me for advice and, where possible, I’m able to give them hints and tips and act as a sounding board for their ideas.

“I’ve also had the opportunity to cover a few tutorials and help out around the assessment time, when things are really busy for the teaching staff.

"Whilst I was studying at Gray's, I can remember avidly watching the different Graduates in Residence at work within the painting department. I was always glad to see them simply at work as artists, having graduated years before returning to Gray's. It was always so encouraging to have them there.

“The graduate in residence scheme really is a great experience. I’m lucky enough to be constantly learning from the staff here while continually working on my portfolio and hopefully the students will get something back from my experiences both as a student and from my time as a working artist.”

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