Gill Flett MA Fine Art (Distinction)

Gill Flett MA Fine Art Winter Graduation '23
After serving 30 years as a Police Officer, Gill decided to return to Gray’s School of Art to pursue her ambitions to work in sculpture.

Gill had always had an artistic flair and as a school leaver from Oldmachar Academy in the eighties, studied a BA (Hons) in Three-Dimensional Design, specialising in Jewellery at Gray’s School of Art.

Upon graduating first time round, Gill moved away from the arts, and joined Grampian Police, where she spent thirty years building up a successful career, which culminated in nine years as a Licensing Sergeant with the Police Service of Scotland.

Towards the end of her policing career, Gill developed small sculptural pieces to build up her portfolio which helped her apply to study the MA Fine Art course at Gray’s School of Art which began in the September of her retirement year.

She decided to return to formal art education at Gray’s to pursue her ambitions to work in sculpture, as the course offered great flexibility to work across disciplines.

“When I was at Grays’s in the late eighties, this didn’t happen. If you were in the Fine Art stream there was no opportunity to work with textiles or ceramics; they fell within the Design departments and never the twain.

“I’ve returned after many years out of formal education or even having an art practice by working independently. I felt I needed to return to formal art education, not just to be motivated by a structured course, but to find and be part of a like-minded community.”

Having returned to study after three decades working in the police, Gill said she benefitted from RGU's Study Support Service who offered advice on writing essays and dissertations through an academic writing programme.

She attributes must of her success to the outstanding teaching methods and support from the tutors at Gray’s.

“One of the major highlights at Gray’s was definitely the teaching methods. I moved away from a lot of ideas I arrived with and was encouraged to explore a theme relevant to me. I ultimately came back to some of my long-held ideas and ambitions; I just went about it a totally different way.

“I would not have produced the work I did, as exhibited at my Master’s Degree Show, without my tutors’ encouragement and also the school’s technical staff.”

Looking ahead to her career, Gill says the master’s course is the springboard she needed.

“As a family we’ve moved to London, which was a long-term plan. Whilst there’s lots to see and do here in terms of contemporary art, studio space is expensive, but I have a couple of options and am hoping to secure studio space by January, after which I will continue to develop my practice. I’m also looking for exhibiting opportunities.

“It is a daunting prospect not to have tutors to give you support and feedback on your ideas and physical work and I’m sad to leave Gray’s but at the same time I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my career.”

Several of Gill’s sculptures are soon to be showcased in a new community engagement space being renovated at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, which will be open for members of the public to visit. They will be used to used to teach students about sculptural experimentation in concrete construction using aggregate, air, colour and composition, and to demonstrate the links between the schools of architecture, built environment and art.


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