Zuzanna Salamon - BA (Hons) Painting

Zuzanna Salamon
The decision to study abroad and move to Aberdeen to pursue her love of painting was one which has created wonderful opportunities for international student, Zuzanna Salamon.

Originally from the Silesia region in Poland, Zuzanna spent six years at art school before making the move to Scotland, having heard encouraging stories from friends who had made similar moves.

“I had a dream to become an international artist, and I knew studies abroad would help me to achieve a broader understanding of the cultures and the art world,” Zuzanna commented.

“I felt that studying abroad will help me to become more independent and I was looking forward to this experience.”

Her decision to study at Gray’s is one which she feels has paid off, graduating with a BA (Hons) Painting, and she looks back fondly on the support she received throughout her studies.

“RGU is an internationally recognized university but at the same time, Gray's is kept as a rather small school. I feel that this is one of the school's strong points; thanks to that the fact that groups are very small tutors can give a lot of attention to each student and be up-to-date with everyone's artistic process.

“It was very important to me, and I was getting a lot of support throughout my whole time at Gray's. What particularly appealed to me in the course is not only the emphasis put on intense practice, but also focus on contextual aspects of Fine Art.

“What also makes RGU and Gray’s unique is career advice support. Being a final year student is always very stressful and career workshops boosted my confidence and prepared me for what is waiting for me after graduation.”

Zuzanna was one of more than 140 Gray’s students who were given the opportunity exhibit their final year work at the Gray’s Virtual Degree Show, after the physical show was cancelled was the global coronavirus pandemic.

“The lockdown was the situation that no one expected, and I believe it was particularly hard for graduating students. Moving out from our studio spaces at Gray’s so unexpectedly and at such an important part of our course was heart-breaking.

“The show that Gray’s delivered was definitely very unique, and I don’t think anyone has taken part in something like this before. Although, in my opinion, nothing can replace a physical degree show, I am grateful that the school provided us with this possibility.  There was definitely a lot of planning and work put from both sides to make it happen.”

Zuzanna is now looking towards the future and was recently awarded the Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross scholarship which allows to work on a new body of work for three months in Florence.

“It was an amazing 4-year journey and I am very grateful for giving me the possibility to be part of the Painting course. All tutors were always very supportive and caring, which I highly appreciate. I was always feeling very welcomed and not for a single moment I regret my decision to move to Aberdeen. Gray’s provided me with professional education, valuable experience, and multiple creative opportunities.”

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